The Anchor Diocese of Fall River
F riday , December 21, 2012
Bishop Coleman’s 2012 Christmas Message Dear Friends in Christ,
s we enter the Christmas Season, in accordance with Catholic practice and tradition, we gather in parishes and around crèches to thank the Lord for all His blessings, which we receive in Christ, and to pray that He will continue to bestow upon us His choicest gifts, especially those of the Holy Spirit, through Whom He guides, comforts, and protects us. ust as the Son of God became Man for the sake of our salvation 2,000 years ago, so does He humble Himself at this time of year and enters the world again as a little baby. He is with us not only during this short season, but He also remains to accompany us through this particular moment of history in which we live. e are the People of God, the Body of Christ. We have been baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus; we are nourished by the Word of God and by the Body and Blood of Christ. We celebrate the birth of our Savior in the Christmas Liturgy, which reminds every Christian of our Lord’s Commandment to love God with all our mind, heart, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. his celebration reminds all Christians — priests and people, the young and old, the rich and poor, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, every adult and even the smallest child — that we are the light of the world. We need to make this light visible to the world around us — as visible as the lights with which we decorate our homes and our Christmas trees. We illuminate not only the interior of our houses, but outside as well — our yards, our streets, and our neighborhoods. In the same way, we need to make the light of Christ visible! t is up to us to pray and invite the Baby Jesus to be born into our hearts again this year and to make Him present in our lives through our acts of loving kindness to our brothers and sisters, most of all to those who are less fortunate than ourselves, and especially during this time of persistent economic hardship. hose with whom we live, work, and go to school should recognize the innocence of the Christ Child, the hospitality of the Holy Family, and the tenderness of God in our actions. The people around us and the society in which we live should see in us evidence of the Incarnation. In our joy, in our hope, and in our good works of charity and peace, people should be able to draw the conclusion that truly God has been made flesh and dwells among us. ith prayerful wishes that the blessings and love of the Christ Child fill your hearts and your homes this Christmas, I remain
Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Bishop of Fall River
December 21, 2012
Parish continues to raise funds for 100-year-old organ By Becky Aubut Anchor Staff
LOOKING FOR SHELTER — Members of the Youth Council at St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea portray Mary and Joseph in the traditional Hispanic Posada reenactment. (Photo by Frank Lucca)
Posada celebration recalls Holy Family’s search for shelter By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
SWANSEA — Role-playing the door-to-door search for shelter that eventually led Mary and Joseph to settle in a modest stable in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago, young actors from St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea will once again be portraying the Holy Family in a Posada celebration in the parish center on December 29 beginning at 6:30 p.m. “This is the second year we’re doing the Posada,” said Youth Minister Frank Lucca. “Over the years we’ve done Living Nativities and Christmas pageants, but we were approached last year by the Knights of Columbus in our
parish to try the Posada and we took it to our Youth Council and the kids really embraced it. In terms of planning, it’s not as difficult as staging a pageant.” Similar to a Living Nativity or Christmas pageant performance, the Posada — taken from the Spanish word for “inn” — 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.” “My understanding is the tradition in Europe is it’s done outdoors and they literally go from house to house. We brought it inside to our parish center,” Lucca said. “But it’s not a presentation where you sit and watch some-
thing. There are Scripture readings as the troop moves from door to door, seeking shelter with Mary and Joseph. It continues to grow, so as they pass by people in the audience, they join in so by the time it’s done you have this massive line of people moving from door to door to door.” “It’s a beautiful Hispanic tradition that is celebrated mainly in places like Mexico and Guatemala,” said Father Eduardo Coll, IVE, pastor of St. Kilian’s Parish in New Bedford. “We’ll be doing it here through Christmas Eve with kids dressed as Mary and Joseph and the singing of Christmas carols from door to door.” At Our Lady of Guadalupe at Turn to page 18
NEW BEDFORD — At St. Anthony of Padua’s Parish in New Bedford, there is a centenarian celebrating its 100th birthday. Born in 1912, the Casavant Frères Opus 489 pipe organ was built for the specifications of the church’s architecture, pitched for the acoustics of the church’s cathedral ceiling and made its debut during a hot September Sunday when few cars ran on the road and factories were closed. “The music could be heard on Nash Road,” said Gisele Pappas, longtime parishioner of St. Anthony’s and concert coordinator for the parish, of the organ’s inaugural performance heard from a mile away. While the quaint times of old have given way to the current hustle and bustle of a much busier Acushnet Avenue, the organ has continued to fill St. Anthony’s
Church with music even as time has slowly chipped away bits and pieces of its grandeur. A ceiling leak caused some moisture damage, a lightning strike wreaked havoc on its internal structure, and the general wear-and-tear of constant use would put a strain on any instrument that has lived through more than two-dozen presidential elections. By the time the Organ Historical Society came knocking, asking to have a program at the church to highlight a historic instrument, the once majestic sound of the organ had been reduced to having “only a third of it working,” said Thomas Sargent, parish music director and organist. “It was like a modelT Ford that could putt-putt instead of chug-chug.” The request of the Organ Historical Society galvanized the parishioners into action, said Pappas. Fund-raising went into full Turn to page 15
LET US ADORE HIM — On the front page is the altar at Holy Trinity Church in West Harwich, decorated for the Christmas celebration in anticipation of the birth of Our Savior. (Photo by Barbara McCarthy)
MUSIC MAN — Thomas Sargent, parish music director and organist for St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford, brings life to the 100-year-old Casavant Frères Opus 489-pipe organ. Fundraising is underway to restore the organ, built to the specifications of the church, to its former glory. (Photo by Becky Aubut)
The Anchor www.anchornews.org
OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 56, No. 49
Member: Catholic Press Association, Catholic News Service
Published weekly except for two weeks in the summer and the week after Christmas by the Catholic Press of the Diocese of Fall River, 887 Highland Avenue, Fall River, MA 02720, Telephone 508-675-7151 — FAX 508-675-7048, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscription price by mail, postpaid $20.00 per year, for U.S. addresses. Send address changes to P.O. Box 7, Fall River, MA, call or use email address
PUBLISHER - Most Reverend George W. Coleman EXECUTIVE EDITOR Father Richard D. Wilson email@example.com EDITOR David B. Jolivet firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICE MANAGER Mary Chase email@example.com ADVERTISING Wayne R. Powers firstname.lastname@example.org REPORTER Kenneth J. Souza email@example.com REPORTER Rebecca Aubut firstname.lastname@example.org Send Letters to the Editor to: email@example.com
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December 21, 2012
For area pregnancy centers, it’s ‘pennies from Heaven’ By Dave Jolivet, Editor
looking after their brothers — Theresa and James Orcutt, founders of “My Brother’s Keeper” in Easton, were recently honored by the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers, with the prestigious 2012 Spirit of Holy Cross Award.
Easton couple receives prestigious Holy Cross award
By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
EASTON — In 1988 James and Theresa Orcutt began serving those in need from the basement of their Easton home by delivering furniture to struggling families in Taunton and Brockton. Two years later, the couple incorporated their Catholic ministry under the name “My Brother’s Keeper.” The organization is now housed in a 15,000-square-foot operations center on Holy Cross land adjacent to Stonehill College and Holy Cross Family Ministries in Easton. More than 2,500 volunteers, including many Stonehill students and alumni, give of their time annually along with six fulltime employees. During this time of year My Brother’s Keeper completes 7,500 deliveries of food, furniture and Christmas gifts to needy individuals and families in the area. The mission of the organization is “to bring the love and hope of Jesus Christ to those we serve.” Last week James and Theresa Orcutt were honored by the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers with the prestigious 2012 Spirit of Holy Cross Award, which was presented during an Advent Prayer Service at the Chapel of Mary at Stonehill College. “It’s an annual award that is given by the U.S. province of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, which encompasses the entire United States,” said Father Joseph F. Callahan, spiritual director of the Holy Cross Retreat House, who has known the Orcutts since 1999. “Laypeople are chosen each year to receive the award and the Orcutts were selected this year. It’s quite a distinction
and the award is one of hope and Divine providence and collaboration with laity and clergy — and the Orcutts certainly exemplify all of that.” In conjunction with the Solemnity of Our Lady of Sorrows, the special patroness of the congregation, the Spirit of Holy Cross Award is announced annually on September 15 and is awarded to Holy Cross lay collaborators who faithfully serve the U.S. Province in the United States and abroad. The Spirit of Holy Cross Award acknowledges the critical importance lay collaborators play in living out the vision and mission of Holy Cross founder Blessed Basil Moreau to make God known, loved and served through education, parish and mission settings. “To be honest, I was somewhat hesitant and I had no idea what the award was and was equally confused as to why we had been selected,” James Orcutt said in his acceptance remarks. “Since that time, I’ve learned more about the Spirit of Holy Cross Award, which is given to individuals who the congregation feel exemplify the spirit of this community of men and women who dedicate their lives to the education and service of God’s people throughout the world.” Father Callahan said it was a 1986 Cursillo retreat that inspired the couple to “do something for Christ.” “They didn’t know what until 1988 when they founded My Brother’s Keeper,” he said. “Prior to coming to the Holy Cross Retreat House we were, at best, not only marginal Catholics but marginal Christians,” Jim Orcutt admitted. “Christ was not a part of our daily life and we did
not attend Mass regularly. When I arrived at the Retreat House to attend Cursillo in January 1986, I felt I was the only one who should not be there. But at the retreat house we were welcomed, encouraged, forgiven and became members of a community, a family of priests and laypeople that has enveloped and sustained us and our children and grandchildren for more than 25 years.” Officially incorporated in 1990, My Brother’s Keeper has since administered to those in need on a daily basis. The volunteer base has exploded to more than 2,500 members annually and at year’s end the ministry will have made an estimated 100,000 deliveries of furniture, food and Christmas gifts all over Southeastern Massachusetts. The root of the success of My Brother’s Keeper is its mission: “To bring the love and hope of Jesus Christ to those we serve.” Each family served is offered the gift of a crucifix for their home with the simple message: “We’re just the delivery people. This is the Person Who sent you the furniture.” “I’ve always been impressed with their humility,” Father Callahan said. “They see themselves among the volunteers of My Brother’s Keeper — they don’t see themselves as separate or above those who work or volunteer there. They are very humble about things. “They also do things as a couple — they’re very much an example of a married couple that works and shares their life together. They’re very committed and very zealous about the work they do and they attract people in Turn to page 19
POCASSET — “It’s the angels in the pews who make this all possible,” said St. John the Evangelist parishioner Constance Murphy. She was referring to the more than $22,000 raised by the parish’s “Pennies for Babies” program that was initiated six years ago this month. “In September, we hit our 2,000,000th penny,” she added. “It’s the little things that can make a big difference.” All of the proceeds from the Pennies for Babies program go directly to Birthright in Falmouth, and A Woman’s Concern in Hyannis — two advocacy centers for women who are in a crisis or unplanned pregnancy. Murphy, who is in the parish’s Women’s Guild Pro-Life Apostalate, has been involved with the program since day one. “Paul Burns, a fellow parishioner who is very Pro-Life, was the one who came up with the idea,” explained Murphy. “He came from a parish in the Boston Archdiocese that did something similar. What he suggested was that we place a large baby bottle in the church and ask people to toss in pennies to help out the two centers. We originally hoped to collect 100,000 pennies, however, the project became so successful, we have continued to collect donations that keep coming in on a regular basis. This is something people can do, not just as a one-time thing. They can do it every day.” Murphy, a former nurse, told The Anchor that “Pro-Life issues are in my background. I’ve been with the parish Pro-Life committee for 14 years. I will always be Pro-
Life. Some people just don’t realize the sanctity of human life. What Birthright and A Woman’s Concern do is to help women choose life for their unborn child. We don’t want someone to make a decision that they’ll regret for the rest of their life. These agencies help women get over the initial hump.” Murphy took over the program at St. John the Evangelist when Burns, because of medical issues, no longer could run it. “I’ve received a great deal of help from the parishioners here,” she said. “And with the help of Pat and Jack Garrity and my husband Edmond, the program is still going strong. When it first started, our pastor was Father Bob Donovan, and he was all for it. Now our pastor is Father Arnie Medeiros, and he’s been supportive as well. “When it first started, people put in pennies. That became all loose change, then bills — ones, tens, twenties. The parishioners are very generous. “When we have $1,000 collected, we draw a check for $500 for each of the agencies. We let them know that we are here for them. This shows that the people here are Pro-Life. They don’t have to attend rallies or meetings or marches. But they can support the movement just by donating their pennies.” “The Pro-Life ministries of St. John the Evangelist and St. Elizabeth Seton in North Falmouth have joined together,” Father Medeiros told The Anchor. “The Pro-Life people in these parishes really promote an awareness of the sanctity and dignity of all people. Not just the unborn, but everyone. But there Turn to page 18
making good cents — Father Arnold Medeiros, third from left, stands with some of the committee for the “Pennies for Babies” program at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Pocasset. From left: Connie and Paul Burns, Father Medeiros, Connie and Ed Murphy, and Pat and Jack Garritty.
December 21, 2012 The Church in the U.S. Church agencies bring relief during year’s storms, drought, typhoon
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Amid this year’s hotter-than-average temperatures and extreme weather-related events including floods, droughts, storms, wildfires and a recent typhoon, Church agencies in the U.S. and around the world mobilized to provide short and long-term relief. This year ended with a typhoon hitting southern Philippines earlier this month, lashing the islands with 120-mph winds and torrential rains killing more than 370 people. The Philippines had already experienced flooding in August when days of torrential rains caused more than a quarter million people to evacuate their homes in the capital of Manila. The previous month, massive flooding in India left 126 people dead, and affected nearly three million people. Teams of Catholic Relief Services workers in both areas immediately assessed damages and provided medical aid, food and water, while churches provided temporary shelter. The United States also was particularly hard hit with weather disasters this year prompting aid
from Catholic Charities USA, local Catholic Charities agencies and parishes. Hurricane Sandy, which quickly became a super storm, wreaked havoc on the Eastern United States in late October, killing 125 people in the U.S. after causing more than 70 deaths in the Caribbean. According to a report from the Associated Press, the storm caused about $62 billion in damage and other losses in the U.S. — primarily in New York and New Jersey — making it the second-costliest storm in U.S. history after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 which caused $128 billion in damage. The United States also experienced the worst drought in decades in the south-central U.S. this past summer. Drought or near-drought conditions had repercussions for more than just farmers as crop shortages caused food prices to increase. In June, there were severe wildfires in Colorado, prompting evacuations and in March tornadoes ripped through parts of Indiana. A United Nations report issued in late November described 2012 as unusually hot with ex-
treme weather events and record-shattering sea ice melt. The report, released by the World Meteorological Organization during U.N. climate talks in Qatar, examined temperatures, precipitation, amounts of snow and ice, and extreme events such as floods and wildfires. A scientist on the U.N. panel said that although it was difficult to link a single weather event to climate change, Sandy was “probably not a coincidence” but an example of the extreme weather events that are likely to strike more often as the world gets warmer. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported July as the hottest month since records were first kept more than 140 years ago. “What has been clear is that the scientists for many, many years now have said that the extremes — droughts, floods, more severe weather — are going to become more common,” said Dan Misleh, head of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, “not only in the U.S. but around the world.”
“All these things are indications that we’re entering a period of these extremes, and I think that most scientists will say that when this becomes more of a pattern they will be able to attribute it more to climate change,” he told Catholic News Service in an interview this summer. “Regardless of the costs, we have a responsibility for alleviating the immediate suffering” of victims of weather-related incidents and “we’re in a pretty good position to help out,” said Misleh, referring to Catholic agencies that provide aid relief. After Hurricane Sandy made landfall October 29 in New Jersey, that state as well as Long Island and the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island were among the areas hit the hardest. The storm surge reached 14 feet in some places and leaving millions without power. Sister Joanne Dress, a Daughter of Charity and diocesan executive director of Catholic Social Services in the Trenton, N.J. Diocese, said after Sandy the focus was on immediate needs
but weeks afterward the longterm needs were being addressed through the network already in place in parishes and other Catholic social service agencies throughout the region. “With many St. Vincent de Paul Society conferences and parish social concerns groups, we already have the framework and the process in place to help address the needs of residents in the impacted areas as they try to get back on their feet,” she said. “People are going to need everything as they work to reestablish their homes. We can’t rebuild their homes, but we certainly can help them with some of the many things they will need to rebuild their lives.” Within days after the storm, the Trenton Diocese moved quickly to establish “drop-off and distribution centers” in a handful of parishes where people in need could access emergency provisions. However, the generosity of donations and the inordinate number of people seeking assistance prompted the diocese to expand its outreach to 26 designated locations.
Groups ask FTC to protect children’s online privacy rights
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is one of more than 50 organizations asking the Federal Trade Commission for more stringent safeguards to protect children’s online privacy rights. Although the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, was passed by Congress in 1998, more advanced online tracking techniques have been developed that threaten those protections. Under that law the FTC is charged with establishing the rules for online privacy. It issued its first rules in 2000, and is now considering updating them. “Today’s young people are growing up in a complex media environment, connected to a vast array of mobile devices, online games, personal computers, social networks, and real-time interactive marketing services,” said the organizations in a recent letter to FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz and the commissioners. As a result, the letter added, “data collection and marketing practices have become increasingly sophisticated and much less transparent, undermining the ability of parents to make meaningful decisions for protecting their children’s privacy and safety.” Rule changes, the letter said,
“are not only essential, but also urgent, addressing a variety of techniques that are swiftly becoming commonplace, including: ‘cookies’ and other ‘persistent identifiers’ for following a child online, mobile and geolocation tracking, facial recognition software, and behavioral advertising.” The proposed rule changes, announced by the FTC in 2011, expand the definition of what it means to “collect” data from children. The new rules also would present a data retention and deletion requirement, which would mandate that data that is obtained from children is only kept for the amount of time necessary to achieve the purpose for which it was collected. Another proposed rule would require any third parties to whom a child’s information is disclosed have reasonable procedures in place to protect the information. “The FTC’s efforts to update COPPA are long overdue. These proposed rule changes are sensible and fair,” the letter said. “We urge you to act decisively and soon to ensure that the law will continue to empower parents and protect children in the growing digital marketplace.” The FTC has said the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act also ap-
ply to foreign-operated websites if such sites “are directed to children in the U.S. or knowingly collect information from children in the U.S.” The commission has already collected fines for violations of the law, principally for letting children younger than age 13 sign on to their sites without parental consent, including $1 million from the Xanga website, which hosts blogs and social networking profiles, and $400,000 from Universal Music Group. Other FTC actions have been taken against Hershey Foods, Mrs. Field’s Cookies and the makers of Jolly Time Popcorn. Other religious groups among the signatories to the letter include the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the National Black Church Initiative, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication. Among the other organizations who signed on to the letter were Consumers Union, the Campaign for a CommercialFree Childhood, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, the American Psychological Association, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment.
December 21, 2012
The Church in the U.S.
Federal judge calls Pro-Life license plate ‘viewpoint discrimination’
braving the cold — Carrying U.S. and Mexican flags and images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, parishioners from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Newton, Wis., arrive at the church following a three-mile procession in the snow. About 50 people participated in the procession of walkers and vehicles from the Newton post office to the church, where a Spanish Mass was celebrated. (CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass)
Illinois pharmacist ruling praised as conscience victory
Washington D.C. (CNA) — Religious liberty advocates are hailing the end of a sevenyear legal battle over the required provision of abortion drugs in Illinois pharmacies as a major triumph for conscience rights. “This decision is a great victory for religious freedom,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has represented the pharmacists in the case for several years. “The government shouldn’t kick business owners out of the market just because it dislikes their religious beliefs,” he said in a statement. “Over seven years of litigation, there was never a shred of proof that a religious objection at a pharmacy harmed anyone,” Rienzi explained. “These pharmacists do a wonderful job serving their communities, and the state’s decision not to appeal lets them get back to that important work.” On December 10, the Illinois Attorney General announced that it would not appeal a court decision upholding the conscience rights of pharmacists against a state mandate requiring the dispensation of abortion-inducing drugs. After seven years in court, the decision secures a victory for two Illinois pharmacists and the pharmacies they run. The case stems from a 2005 executive rule issued by thenIllinois governor Rod Blagojevich to require all pharmacists and pharmacies in the state to dispense Plan B, also known as the “morning after pill.” While it is commonly called
“emergency contraception,” the drug can cause an early abortion by ending the life of a newlycreated human embryo. Pharmacists who did not comply with the rule were threatened with fines and the loss of professional licenses. The governor did not allow a religious exemption to the rule, saying that pharmacists who were morally opposed to the drug should find a different profession. Several pharmacists and pharmacies that morally object to cooperating in the destruction of human life filed a lawsuit challenging the rule. The suit argued that the rule violated state religious liberty laws, health care conscience protections and the religious freedom guarantees in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It charged that the rule unfairly discriminated against health care professionals seeking to contribute to society according to their principles by forcing them to choose between their constitutionally protected rights and their livelihood. In April 2011, an Illinois trial court granted a permanent injunction blocking the rule from applying to the pharmacists. The court found no evidence that anyone had been harmed by a pharmacist’s religious objections to providing the drugs. It also noted that the law allowed pharmacies to refuse to sell drugs for many other business reasons, but not religious ones. A state appellate court affirmed the injunction in September 2012, finding that the rule amounted to “discrimination in
licensing” against those with religious objections to early abortion drugs. Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, hailed the decision as “a tremendous victory.” Americans United for Life, which filed the original lawsuit in the case, noted that many individuals throughout the country face similar dilemmas due the Obama Administration’s recent federal mandate requiring employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and early abortion drugs. Yoest said that the victory in Illinois “has dramatic implications for all people of faith who object to being forced to throw aside their convictions to support an anti-life agenda.”
RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) — The Catholic bishops of North Carolina said they were “deeply saddened” that a federal judge ruled the state cannot issue “Choose Life” license plates without offering a choice of plates with a different viewpoint. U.S. District Court Judge James C. Fox ruled that North Carolina’s attempt to offer “Choose Life” plates only is unconstitutional because it is “viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.” “The decision by a federal judge to ban the ‘Choose Life’ license plate in North Carolina is a tremendous disappointment,” Bishops Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte and Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh said in a joint statement. “We are deeply saddened that North Carolina cannot join the many other states that allow their citizens to display the ‘Choose Life’ plates. We support the effort to encourage the attorney general of our state to appeal this decision.” Fox ruled on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four “pro-choice automobile owners” who contended the “Choose Life” plates were statesponsored discrimination. The North Carolina bishops have supported the “Choose Life” license plates since 2008, when Catholic Voice NC was established. It was the first issue that the bishops asked supporters to contact their legislators about. Catholic Voice NC is a nonpartisan entity operating under the authority of the state’s two Catholic bishops. It offers free membership to North Carolina residents, and according to its website thousands have joined. Members are often asked to contact their elected representatives to ensure a Catholic viewpoint is taken into consideration. Republican state Rep. Mitch
Gillespie, who sponsored the “Choose Life” bill in the House, said he will encourage the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office to appeal the decision, the Diocese of Raleigh reported. According to the Catholic News Herald, Charlotte’s diocesan newspaper, the “Choose Life” plates were approved by the Legislature after a seven-year effort on the part of supporters. The state already issues specialty license plates for everything from the Blue Ridge Parkway to NASCAR. Opponents of the ProLife plates say the state should offer one that supports legal abortion slogans such as “Respect Choice.” According to the website of the organization Choose Life Inc., 29 states have Pro-Life specialty license plates available to car owners. The organization is working with Pro-Life groups in 12 other states to make the plates available. In New York state, the effort to get a Pro-Life specialty plate has been under way for more than 10 years. Proceeds would pay for the plate and would benefit the Children First Foundation, which encourages adoption. According to a recent editorial in the Catholic New York, newspaper of the New York Archdiocese, lawmakers who oppose the ProLife plate are against them because “its crayon-drawn slogan, ‘Choose Life,’ is not, apparently, politically correct.” “In fact, in 2004 the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles suspended all new custom plates in a cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-yourface move just so they wouldn’t be forced to accept ‘Choose Life,’” the editorial said. “That means even such worthy sentiments and causes as a 9/11 memorial plate and a Cure Childhood Cancer plate have been turned down — with some 280 organizations blocked in all.”
The Anchor Promoting a Culture of Life
Last Sunday, celebrating Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap., commented on the tragic murders which occurred in Newtown, Conn. two days previous. The Boston Globe reported that he preached, “As a whole country reflects on these tragic events, we must recognize our society’s inability to deal with mental illness in a more effective way ... It is also a clarion call to initiate effective legislation to keep automatic weapons out of the hands of private citizens.” In this edition of The Anchor, normally one which focuses on the joy of Christmas, our rejoicing is tempered by what happened in Newtown. Dr. Mary Pat Tranter and Fathers Jeff Cabral and Tom Washburn bring a religious perspective to dealing with the tragedy on pages seven, eight and 13, respectively. Here on this page we would like to discuss the public policy implications of our response to this massacre. Just hours after the killings, that very afternoon folks on the radio were already commenting on the political implications of what happened, how each political party could take advantage of the situation, etc. People from the right often expressed fears that the left would use gun control to establish a dictatorship (a parallel fear is expressed by people on the left that conservatives will use tools such as the Patriot Act to set up their own tyranny). The Catholic Church does not have a teaching on gun control which is a required belief for her members. However, we are called upon by the Church to consider our leaders’ prudential judgments on this issue. In the year 2000 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a document entitled, “Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice.” In it they wrote, “As bishops, we support measures that control the sale and use of firearms and make them safer — especially efforts that prevent their unsupervised use by children or anyone other than the owner — and we reiterate our call for sensible regulation of handguns.” According to Catholic News Service, after that paragraph the USCCB wrote in a footnote, “However, we believe that in the long run and with few exceptions — i.e. police officers, military use — handguns should be eliminated from our society.” CNS noted that this footnote “reiterates a line in the bishops’ 1990 pastoral statement on substance abuse, which called ‘for effective and courageous action to control handguns, leading to their eventual elimination from our society.’” CNS’ January 2011 article on this topic can be found on their website www.catholicnews. com/data/stories/cns/1100159.htm. There they reported that the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace was “working to update its 1994 document, ‘The International Arms Trade,’ to further emphasize the importance of enacting concrete controls on handguns and light weapons ... The current document calls on every nation and state ‘to impose a strict control on the sale of handguns and small arms. Limiting the purchase of such arms would certainly not infringe on the rights of anyone.’” Again, these are not mandatory teachings of the Catholic Church (nor are they the “nonnegotiable” issues of life and Marriage upon which we should be casting our ballots), but they should not be summarily dismissed. There is often a fear in some Catholic circles about supporting any policy which might appear liberal, since this might be misconstrued as giving a green light to supporting anti-life policitians. However, conservatism and the Republican Party have not been canonized by our Church and they also must always be approached with a critical mind (although not a cynical eye, to paraphrase George Weigel on page eight). In a 2008 letter to an international disarmament conference, Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “Every effort is required to prevent the proliferation of light, small calibre weapons which encourage local wars and urban violence and kill too many people in the world every day. It will nevertheless be difficult to find a solution to the various technical issues without man’s conversion to goodness at the cultural, moral and spiritual levels. Every person, in any walk of life, is called to convert to goodness and to seek peace in his own heart, with his neighbor and in the world.” The conversion of which the Holy Father spoke normally requires at least some degree of mental health for the individual to be able to make the turn away from violence. As Cardinal O’Malley noted at the top of this editorial, our society also needs to take a serious look at how the mental health needs of the populace are being met (or not met, as is often the case). We face the age-old stigma which pursuit of mental health services still occasionally faces, plus the greater reluctance of insurance providers (private or public) to shell out money for these services (an expense which often would be much less than the expenses of “picking up the pieces” later on). Blessed John Paul II observed the World Day of Mental Health in 1999 and told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, “In her multifaceted commitment to the sick, the Church is always attentive to those affected by psychological disturbances. I assure these brothers and sisters of ours and their families a special remembrance in my prayer, and I encourage everyone who works at any level in this challenging field of health care.” Pope Benedict XVI noted that he was building upon a foundation that Blessed John Paul had established regarding concern about mental health issues. In 2005 the present pope invited all “to reflect on the situation of the mentally ill in the world and to call for the commitment of Ecclesial Communities to bear witness to the tender mercy of God towards them. It should then be noted that prolonged armed conflicts in various regions of the world, the succession of terrible natural catastrophes and the spread of terrorism, in addition to causing a shocking number of deaths, has triggered psychological traumas that are sometimes difficult to cure in many survivors.” What the Holy Father wrote may not be what caused the psychological problems of the Newtown killer, but his list would include things which have disturbed Americans and people in other lands. He then discussed directly mental illness in wealthy countries, like ours. “In the economically highly-developed countries, experts recognize that at the origin of new forms of mental disease we may also find the negative impact of the crisis of moral values. This increases the feeling of loneliness, undermining and even breaking up traditional forms of social cohesion, starting with the family institution, and marginalizing the sick, particularly the mentally ill who are all too often considered as a burden on the family and community.” Just as the country could benefit from a healthy debate about gun policy (one which President Obama and Governor Romney studiously avoided when given the chance to discuss the topic at one of their debates), so also Christ’s command to love our neighbor and “heal the sick” calls upon us Christians to see how better mental health can be promoted in our world. One last thing should be noted — the promotion of violence in our culture, from what we see on television, the computer, and the Internet to what people play via video games. The Culture of Death is very clever in the ways in which it deadens our reactions to untold violence. As we Christians work to promote a Culture of Life, may God help us to find healthy forms of entertainment which we can enjoy with family and friends.
December 21, 2012
The Church is the inn
n Tuesday we will mark one of the shepherds had anything but a reputation for greatest scandals in history: there religious exactitude, but they’re the ones to was no room in the inn. Not only did people whom the Good News of great joy was first turn their back on a woman about to give brought. birth, but, without knowing, refused hospitalAs we think of the type of Christian hosity to the long-awaited Messiah. The Son of pitality that should mark our parishes, homes God made Man came to His own people, as and hearts throughout the year, but particuSt. John would write, but they didn’t accept larly on Christmas, I think of the BenedicHim. They made no room for Him. This tines, who have taught the entire Church scandal culminated, we know, in the cross. how to be hospitable for 1,500 years. And this scandal continues in multiple St. Benedict wrote that when a guest ways. When Jesus knocks gently on the arrives, the abbot and all the monks should doors of our hearts wanting to bring us into a stop what they’re doing and go to greet deeper union with Him, many try to pretend him. They should either bow their head to as if no one’s at the door. With regard to His the guest or, if they can, lie prostrate on the presence in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus said to ground before him. Then the guest should be St. Margaret Mary Alacoque that most peoled to the chapel to pray and, if he’s hungry, ple respond with indifference, irreverence, the superior should accompany him to get coldness and scorn. Many also continue some food and eat with him, even breakto refuse to be inconvenienced when they ing a fast to do so. The Abbot should wash become aware of pregnant women in need. the guest’s hands and then, together with But one of the places this scandal of inthe monks, wash his feet. Then he should hospitality frequently occurs is, of all places, accompany him to his guest room and make at Christmas Mass, in the way many in the sure that he has everything he needs. And Church respond to those the various “guests” this should happen whenever a guest arrives, coming home to their spiritual Bethlehem. no matter how poor or unexpected. Rather than That type being welof hospitalcomed with ity strikes us warmth, often as absurdly visitors are extravagant, but made to feel if the Benedicas if they’re tines truly want intruding on to receive all By Father someone else’s guests the way Roger J. Landry turf. They sit in they would someone else’s receive Christ, pew. They then this “exoften don’t know how to genuflect or bless cessive” receptivity becomes logical. If they themselves. Older kids who haven’t been were welcoming Christ Himself, Who said, to Church in a while may not know how to “I was a stranger and you welcomed Me,” behave and they, rather than the Liturgy, will would we not expect the abbot and everyone become the center of attention. Those who else to interrupt what they’re doing to go to are recognizable often receive greetings filled the door to meet Him? Would we not expect with thinly-veiled judgmental sarcasm, like, them to lie prostrate before Him, pray with “Long time no see.” Rather than sensing joy Him, show Him every kindness and break that others are thrilled to see them at Mass, their fast to eat with Him? they are made to feel guilty that they haven’t The problem for many Christians is that, been seen, perhaps, since Easter. no matter how many times we’ve heard The question of how practicing Catholics Jesus’ words about welcoming others as we should respond to “CAPE” Catholics — would Him, we don’t act on them. If it were those who come only on Christmas, Ash a question of welcoming Jesus Himself, all Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Easter — is of us would want to welcome Him with all one of the pressing pastoral problems of our the love we’ve got, but we don’t love others age. Beyond the 30 million Americans who in practice the way we love Him. Jesus says now self-identify as ex-Catholics, three-quar- that at the end of time, many will ask, “Lord, ters of the 78 million who still call themwhen did we see You a stranger and refuse selves Catholics come to Mass infrequently. to welcome You?” implying that they would Many of those 59 million Catholics will be have given Him a welcome they refused to coming to Church on Christmas Eve and give others. The tragic response Jesus says Day and it’s a tremendous opportunity for they’ll receive is, “As often as you failed to us to reintroduce them to the real love that do it to the least of My brothers and sisters, should flow from our Catholic faith. you failed to do it to Me.” Several years ago, Pope Benedict was So as we prepare to welcome many at asked his thoughts about those who come the Christmas Masses we don’t see every to Mass only on a few times a year. His week, we need to prepare like Benedictines response should influence the reaction of ev- to treat every guest the way we would want eryone in the Church: he said he was happy to treat Jesus, Mary and Joseph. If we would that they still have some faith. Although their excitedly welcome Mary and Joseph to faith may be weak, they still feel a bond to our parish, then we should welcome every the Church and want to come to celebrate at young couple, no matter their circumstances. least the most important mysteries. There’s If we would never allow the Blessed Virgin still a flame of desire for God burning within to have to climb over us to get to the inside them and their coming provides the Church of the pew so that we can keep our real estate an opportunity to fan that flame. on the aisle, we should just slide down for It’s true, some will say, that their voluneveryone. If we would not be upset in the tarily missing Sunday Mass most of the year least if the Baby Jesus were crying in the is a serious sin and that therefore they need to pew behind us, we should have that same be called out of love to convert from their es- attitude toward crying children made in His chatologically dangerous life. But the call to image and likeness. conversion, an essential part of the Church’s If we make Christmas visitors to our mission, is probably only going to succeed Church feel the love with which Christ emafter people feel welcomed, cared for, and braced outcasts and Benedictines welcome loved by God and His family. strangers, we would almost certainly see There’s no greater witness to this apthem more often. Hospitality is a crucial part proach than the Lord Jesus, Who was called of the “New Evangelization.” Let’s do all a “Friend of sinners” and not only welcomed we can — as individuals and parish combut went out in search of those on the moral munities — contagiously to welcome every periphery of Jewish life. He never ceased to family the way the inn-keepers of Bethlehem call them to repentance and a new and better should have welcomed the Holy Family that life with Him, but He first showed them that first Christmas. He didn’t consider them outcasts, but friends. Father Landry is Pastor of St. BernaThis happened even on the first Christmas: dette Parish in Fall River.
Putting Into the Deep
December 21, 2012
Peace on earth, good will to men
oday we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, otherwise known as Gaudete Sunday. As we reach the midpoint of the Advent season, we see a change in the colors of vestments and candles from purple to rose. These changes remind us that Advent is not only a time of preparation for the day that Christ comes again but also a time to rejoice in the greatest gift that God gave us through the Incarnation. Through the birth of Jesus Christ, not only did God become Man and show His face to us, He gave us the gift of eternal life. As we return to school, we are mindful that this season of celebration is marred by the horrific tragedy that took place in Newtown, Conn. Like all schools throughout the country, we will evaluate our crisis plans, review protocols with teachers and students, and investigate additional ways that we can make our school safe. What we will also do is pray. We will pray for the 20 young children and six adults who lost their lives. We will pray for the teachers, staff and administrators who risked their own lives to save the lives of their students. We will pray for the families and friends of
all those who died. We will pray choice without also giving us the for all those who survived, the tools to discern right from wrong. students, teachers, and staff whose The natural law, written on our lives have been changed forever. hearts, is the innate understandWe will pray for the first responding of knowing what is right and ers tasked with the job of restoring wrong. order and safety. We will pray for the people of Newtown as their world has been turned upside down by this senseless tragedy. We will pray By Dr. Mary for all those who have lost hope and live in despair — Patricia Tranter that they may find comfort in the love of others. We will pray for those who suffer Through Scripture and Revfrom mental illness — that they elation, He gave us the “written” receive the help that they need. We instructions as to how to live a will pray for peace in our hearts, good life. And, through the Incarin our school, in our country and nation, God gave us the ultimate in our world. Yes, tomorrow we role model. As a school, we are will pray, for that is who we are fortunate to be able to partner with and what we do. our parents to use these tools to As a Catholic school, we are provide our students with what we blessed to have faith as the core of hope will be their moral compass. our existence. While many often As graduates, we hope that they question their faith in the time of will pay it forward and continue to tragedy, we remember that God is live our motto, “Enter to Learn — not responsible when bad things Leave to Serve.” That is why there happen. God gave us the gift of is no time like the present to turn freewill so that we can choose to our faith and to God, for it is for ourselves whether or not we through faith that we have hope. want to accept the gift of eternal In closing, I share with you life. But God did not give us this the words of a familiar Christmas
Pope asks Catholics to read Bible, recall history of God’s saving love
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Urging Catholics to “pick up the Bible” and read it during the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI said the Scriptures recount the story of God’s love for humanity and the steps He took throughout history to save all men and women. “That which enlightens and gives full meaning to the history of the world and of the human person began to shine in the grotto of Bethlehem. It is the mystery we soon will contemplate at Christmas: our salvation in Jesus Christ,” the pope said during a recent weekly general audience. A 100-member delegation from the Mexican state of Michoacan was among the 4,500 visitors and pilgrims at the audience; artists and craftspeople in the state created the Nativity scene already decorating the stage of the audience hall. With the audience being held on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Michoacan delegates and others waved banners with the famous image. Also present were cardinals, bishops, priests and laypeople from North, South and Central America who were celebrating the Guadalupe feast day
during in a Vatican congress marking the 15th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops for America. Pope Benedict said the word “advent,” which means “coming” or “presence,” in ancient times was used to refer to the official visit of the king or emperor to a certain province. “For us Christians, Advent indicates a wonderful and moving reality: God Himself has crossed the threshold of Heaven,” the pope said. With the birth of Christ, “He is the King Who came down to visit this poor province, which is earth, and gave us the gift of His visit, assuming our flesh, becoming human like us.” From the creation of the world to Noah and the flood, from the call of Abraham to the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, the Bible is the story of how God repeatedly has acted in history to demonstrate His presence, His love for humanity and His desire to save all men and women, Pope Benedict said. “Advent calls us to recall the history of His presence and always remember that God did not cut Himself off from the world, He isn’t absent and he
does not abandon us,” but “He comes to meet us in the different ways, which we must learn to discern,” the pope said. “And we, with our faith, hope and charity, are called each day to recognize and give witness to His presence in a world that is often superficial and distracted,” he said. The role of Christians today, he said, is to make sure that “the light that lit up the manger in Bethlehem” shines through their lives.
hymn penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men. I thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along the unbroken song Of peace on earth, good will to men. And in despair I bowed my head: ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said, ‘For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.’ Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: ‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men.’ Till, ringing singing, on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, Of peace on earth, good will to men!” Wishing you peace this Christmas and always. Dr. Mary Patricia Tranter, Ph.D., is president of Coyle and Cassidy High School in Taunton.
n a few short days, you and I will be gathered at our parish churches and with our family and friends celebrating the Lord’s birth at Christmas. Some will be traveling far — maybe even by airplane — while others will be staying at home with family coming into town. Often, this time of the year can be so stressful, as we make our travel arrangements, praying for no canceled flights. In the Gospel for this Fourth Sunday of Advent, we hear of another traveler, a young woman. “Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” Mary set out to visit her older cousin Elizabeth in the midst of her own pregnancy. This encounter between two pregnant women is called the Visitation, and those who pray the Rosary recognize this to be the second Joyful Mystery. Today’s Gospel of the Visi-
December 21, 2012
Let us travel in haste to Emmanuel
tation is preceded by the story evangelist is discreetly telling of the Annunciation, when the us — then it is the things Archangel Gabriel announced of God.” Our Holy Father to Mary that she would conreminds us that one of the ceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, markHomily of the Week ing the Incarnation of Fourth Sunday our Lord. Afterwards, when Mary set out, of Advent St. Luke described her By Father significant journey as Jeffrey Cabral traveling “in haste” from her town of Nazareth to Elizabeth and Zechariah’s home near Jerusalem, about 70 main problems of our modern miles away, a four-day trip for world is that we are busy — Mary. sometimes so frantically busy In his newest book, “Jesus — that when it comes to the of Nazareth: The Infancy “things of God,” we may be Narratives,” Pope Benedict lax. Mary and the shepherds XVI noted that not only remind us, as they went about did Mary, already pregnant their visits, we too must make with our Lord, go to visit haste when it comes to our Elizabeth “in haste,” but the relationship with God. shepherds also made haste Christmas, as we know, when they heard about Jesus’ celebrates the greatest Visitor birth. He asks: “How many in human history: God’s visit Christians make haste today, to His people, in Jesus Christ, where the things of God are more than 2,000 years ago. concerned? Surely if anyGod entered the world in just thing merits haste — so the the same way as each of us
did — through our mother’s womb. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit and carrying her son John who leaped for joy, recognized that Mary was carrying within herself the long-awaited Savior of God’s people. God comes to us in simple, ordinary ways; ways our eyes cannot see but in ways that can be seen through faith and the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth wonders how she should be so honored with a visit from Mary and Jesus: “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” We too must ask the same question. How is it we should be so honored that Christ has come into our lives; that He speaks to us through the sacred Scriptures; that He feeds us with His own Flesh and Blood in the Holy Eucharist; that He hears us when we pray; that He touches us through the kindness and love of others?
This is, in fact, what we will be celebrating in a few days, that the Word was made Flesh, that God became one of us, Emmanuel, God-is-with-us. As we were reminded last week, after the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Conn., God is still with us, even in the darkness and struggles and pain and challenges that life sometimes brings. God has entered our world as one of us, and came to comfort us, hold us, cry with us, laugh with us, and just be with us. God never abandons us. As we travel these next few days, as we welcome family and friends at Christmas, let us remember to set out in haste to God and be attentive to the ways in which He is present to us, Emmanuel, God-is-with-us. Father Cabral is the Promoter of Justice and a Judge at the Diocesan Tribunal, and the technical assistant at Good Shepherd and St. Stanislaus parishes in Fall River.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Dec. 22, 1 Sm 1:24-28; Lk 1:46-56. Sun. Dec. 23, Fourth Sunday of Advent, Mi 5:1-4a; Ps 80:2-3,15-16,18-19; Heb 10:5-10; Lk 1:39-45. Mon. Dec. 24, (Morning) 2 Sm 7:1-5,8b-12,14a,16; Lk 1:67-79. Christmas Vigil, Is 62:1-5; Ps 89:4-5,16-17,27,29; Acts 13:16-17,22-25; Mt 1:1-25 or 1:18-25. Tues. Dec. 25, The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas), Midnight, Is 9:1-6; Ps 96:1-3,11-13; Ti 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-14. Dawn, Is 62:11-12; Ps 97:1,6,11-12; Ti 3:4-7; Lk 2:1520. Day, Is 52:7-10; Ps 98:1-6; Heb 1:1-6; Jn 1:1-18 or 1:1-5,9-14. Wed. Dec. 26, Acts 6:8-10;7:54-59; Mt 10:17-22. Thurs. Dec. 27, 1 Jn 1:1-4; Jn 20:1a,2-8. Fri. Dec. 28, 1 Jn 1:5—2:2; Mt 2:13-18. Sat. Dec. 29, 1 Jn 2:3-11; Lk 2:22-35. Sun. Dec. 30, Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Sir 3:2-6,12-14; Ps 128:1-5; Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17; Lk 2:41-52. Mon. Dec. 31, 1 Jn 2:18-21; Jn 1:1-18. Tues. Jan. 1, Mary the Holy Mother of God, Nm 6:22-27; Ps 67:2-3,5-6,8; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21. Wed. Jan. 2, 1 Jn 2:22-28; Ps 98:1-4; Jn 1:19-28. Thurs. Jan. 3, 1 Jn 2:29-3:6; Ps 98:1-3,6; Jn 1:29-34. Fri. Jan. 4, 1 Jn 3:7-10; Ps 98:1,7-9; Jn 1:35-42. Sat. Jan. 5, 1 Jn 3:11-21; Ps 100:1-5; Jn 1:43-51. Vigil of the Epiphany, Is 60:1-6; Ps 72:2,7-8,10-13; Eph 3:2-3a,5-6; Mt 2:1-12. Sun. Jan. 6, The Epiphany of the Lord, Is 60:1-6; Ps 72:2,7-8;10-13; Eph 3:2-3a,5-6; Mt 2:1-12. Mon. Jan. 7, 1 Jn 3:22-4:6; Ps 2:7-8,10-12a; Mt 4:12-17,23-25. Tues. Jan. 8, 1 Jn 4:7-10; Ps 72:1-4,7-8; Mk 6:34-44. Wed. Jan. 9, 1 Jn 4:11-18; Ps 72:1-2,10,12-13; Mk 6:45-52. Thurs. Jan. 10, 1 Jn 4:19-5:4; Ps 72:1-2,14,15bc,17; Lk 4:14-22a. Fri. Jan. 11, 1 Jn 5:5-13; Ps 147:12-15,19-20; Lk 5:12-16.
n a sermon broadcast on the BBC on Dec. 25, 1950, Msgr. Ronald Knox observed that “we make a holiday of Christmas only if we have the strength of mind to creep up the nursery stairs again, and pretend that we never came down them.” In my case, the stairs in question led, not to a nursery, but to the children’s bedroom I shared with my brother at 1 Regester Avenue in the Baltimore suburb of Rodgers Forge. And down the stairs we slid, Christmas morning, to discover what had arrived (or, as we later learned, what had been assembled, often with the aid of my grandfather Weigel) the night before. The day that followed was one of unmitigated happiness; and from the distance of more than half a century, I still remember the sweet sadness of Christmas night, brought on by the thought that it was now a full year until Christmas came ’round again. Msgr. Knox’s call to a recovered Christmas innocence
Christmas: cure for cynicism and irony
may well ring more truly today certainly was wonder (all three than it did when he preached on are captured in Henry Ossawa the BBC the Christmas before Tanner’s magnificent paintI was born. Western culture, ing, “The Annunciation,” in the back then, had its cynics; but Philadelphia Museum of Art). it was not awash in cynicism But there was neither the cynic’s and irony, as it is today. And those two cultural markers — cynicism and irony — are grave impediments to receiving the Gospel and embracing friendship with By George Weigel the Lord Jesus as the defining commitment of our lives. Postmodernity proposes cynicism and irony as response (“Are you kidding adult attitudes, signs of matura- me?) nor the ironist’s (“What tion beyond nursery innocence. did I do to deserve this?”). The entire Christmas story, There was neither cynicism however, tells us that that’s not nor irony in the response of true. the shepherds “keeping watch There is neither cynicism over their flock by night” in the nor irony in Mary’s reception fields around Bethlehem. Here, of the angel Gabriel and her too, there was innocent wonder, acceptance of the Divine invitaand an implicit act of faith in tion to become the Theotokos, the Divine purposes, however the “God-bearer” or “Mother mysterious: “Let us go over to of God.” There was a question; Bethlehem and see this thing there may have been fear; there that has happened, which the
The Catholic Difference
Lord has made known to us” (Lk 2: 8, 15). One might have expected cynicism and irony from the Magi, the “sages” from the East. They were, after all, intellectuals; cynicism and irony are trademarks of full-up membership in the academic guild. Perhaps the Magi were untenured. Still, however learned they may have been, we find in them no soured world-weariness, no passion for demythologizing, no relativism, no selfabsorption. Rather, the Magi, the first gentiles to acknowledge what Father Edward Oakes described as “infinity dwindled to infancy” seek, find, and pay homage — ignoring, along the way, the deceits of that archcynic and ironist, Herod the Great. And there seems to have been neither cynicism nor irony in St. Joseph, too often the forgotten figure in the Christmas
tableau. We may imagine him a virile, fatherly man, a skilled tradesman, a husband in love with the wife of his heart. He, too, responded with deep faith to instructions that might well cause others to lapse into irony, if not downright cynicism: “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary for your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Mt 1.20-21); “Rise, take the Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the Child to destroy Him” (Mt 2:13). To “return to the nursery” at Christmas is not infantile. To “return to the nursery” is to reexperience the wonder of God in His search for us, in history. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
December 21, 2012
hristmas is the celebration of the day when God got a face. Generations from Abraham to Moses had asked in vain for a glimpse of God, but for one moment in history God walked with human feet. Theologians from Nicaea to Constantinople have pondered the humanity of Jesus the Christ, and the fruits of their contemplation are forever preserved within our doctrine. By declaring that the Christ was fully human, they established categorically that Jesus is Child of Mary, Son of God. But the humanity of the Baby Jesus is worth examining. Did Mary think of this when she held her baby and kissed the tender feet of her newborn Son? Did the face of God look up at Mary as He searched for His mother with His first glance? No wonder that this Child, Who brought Mary into a life of contemplation from His conception to His devastating end, also caused her to sing her majestic hymn of praise. Mary’s Magnificat is proclaimed today
Incarnation and Magnificat
played by the many people who in the actions of the people with give their time to prison miniswhom we live, work and pray. tries within our diocese. They are My soul proclaims the greatthe face of Christ in a hopeless ness of the Lord, my spirit resetting. Their presence inside the joices in God my Savior. For He has looked upon His handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed … as do the hundreds of Hispanic people of our diocese who come together By Claire McManus every year to celebrate the majesty of the Virgin of Guadalupe. They walls of our prisons brings to life pack our churches and bring what we pray in our Rosary as their children, pious, reverent we ask that those most in need of and filled with joyful noise and mercy receive the abundance of lively music. The Virgin, chosen God’s outpouring love. in her time to nurture the Christ, He has shown the strength yet was given to the ages to be an instrument of peace and hope. of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit. He Mary brings hope and comfort has cast down the mighty from to a generation who braved the journey from their own countries their thrones, He has lifted up the lowly … and still we carry to live and work beside us in our on without them, picking up communities. the pieces of the mess they left His mercy is from age to age behind. Even when we thought to those who fear Him … as dis-
The Great Commission
Tumbling into the abyss
of His Word which creates the n the early days of Adworld.” vent, Pope Benedict gave How important it is to a splendid homily that should remember that the existence of direct our thoughts this holy each person is neither random season and in the coming year, nor irrelevant. The “fullness for it may be that we have lost of time” that we usually use to sight of what our faith really refer to Jesus’ human existence means in this confused world. can just as well be applied to He began by echoing St. Paul’s each of us, since we have been praise for God’s wondrous created quite deliberately for a plan of salvation, which is a “benevolent” plan that includes man. Christians know that our very being has its origin in God, and therefore each life has meaning — not By Genevieve Kineke only who we are, and where we are, but when we are. We have specific mission. been called into life now for Benedict continues, “This some purpose that contributes first statement reminds us that its essential portion to God’s our vocation is not simply eternal plan — and even a to exist in the world, being fragment of infinity is no small inserted in history, or even just thing! being a creature of God, it is Benedict notes that “the something greater: it is being Heavenly Father has chosen chosen by God, even before us even before the creation of the creation of the world, in the the world, to be His sons in Son, Jesus Christ. In Him we His only-begotten Son, Jesus exist, so to speak, already. God Christ. Therefore we exist contemplates us in Christ, as from eternity in God, in a maadopted children.” jor project that God has kept Our inclusion into God’s within Himself and decided to “loving plan” (Eph. 1:5) is a implement and to reveal in ‘the mystery made manifest in the fullness of time’ (cf. Eph 1:10). coming of Christ. The revelaSt. Paul helps us to understand, tion of God — Incarnate in the then, how all creation and, in Babe of Bethlehem — reveals particular man and woman are not only the Divine plan of not the result of chance, but a God but our own invitation to loving plan to respond to the be transformed through love. eternal reason of God with the When we kneel to adore the creative and redemptive power
The Feminine Genius
Christ Child, when we bow before the Holy Eucharist, we must recognize that we are called to exist in Him, and that our purpose for being is simply to be holy in Him. Not successful. Not attractive. Not materially secure. These may have their place in the world, but they are not essential to our mission or what gives us value. Our meaning transcends these mundane trappings. Benedict explains that this stunning dimension of reality — a super reality, one might say — could never have been discerned without God’s help, and even to grasp it takes grace and effort. “By his intelligence and abilities alone man could not have reached this illuminating revelation — so resplendent — of God’s love, it is God Who has opened up His Heaven and lowered Himself to lead man into the abyss of His love.” Ultimately, Benedict reminds us that it is our job, or task, to “allow ourselves to be grasped by the truth that is God.” Does that frighten you? Intrigue you? Astonish you? Go to Mary, who will take you by the hand, show you the Infant, and calm your heart. Trust her to lead you into that abyss, for now is the ideal time. Mrs. Kineke writes from Rhode Island and can be found online at femininegenius.com.
our Church would never recover from the scandal of abuse, we found a way to minister, to support the good priests upon whom a shadow was cast, and to be Christ in the mess of human failing. He has filled the hungry with good things … not just those whose stomachs are empty, but the spiritually hungry as well. A suicide note left behind by an elderly man whose wife had died simply stated, “I can’t eat another dinner alone.” His desperate end brought forth Christ into a community on the Cape, which formed a weekly Supper Club at the local Council on Aging. Volunteers of all faiths and ages prepare dinner and join in fellowship with the aged and alone. Even when arson brought ruin to a church building, the church lived on in the young people who kept their date at the Supper Club and still prepared and shared a meal with the many who cling to these cherished moments of communion. And the rich He has sent away empty … not as punishment, but with a great spirit of generosity so many people open their purse strings to pour out their wealth for those in need in our community. Even when the economy suffered, our food pantries and soup kitchens received what they needed, clothing was donated,
scholarships were funded; people were taken care of. He has come to the help of His servant Israel for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever. Though thousands of years have passed, Israel continues to struggle for her existence. Our country stands firm in support, and our parishioners continue to form pilgrimages to the Holy Land, walking in the footsteps of the Lord. Even as violence meets violence in this place where three great religions grew from the same root, the resolve of peace-minded people would preserve this region where God has shown favor. Mary made a place where God entered into humanity, provided arms to cradle the innocent Baby and the broken Man. Mary is the place where humanity gazes on the face of God, and God searches the face of humanity. Mother Teresa told us that we are contemplatives in the heart of the world by “seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, everywhere, all the time, and seeing His hand in every happening.” As we allow the face of God to shine upon us and through us, so too will we lift up our Magnificat to this world. Merry Christmas. Claire McManus is the director of the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation.
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December 21, 2012
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Fourth Sunday of Advent December 23, 2012
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December 21, 2012
Children’s book reveals pope’s sensitive side
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A new children’s book, released by the Vatican publishing house, accurately reveals the “very, very, very sensitive soul” of Pope Benedict XVI, said his personal secretary, Archbishop-designate Georg Ganswein. The Italian-language book, “The Mystery of a Little Pond,” was written and illustrated by the Russian painter Natalia Tsarkova and was presented at a recent conference by the archbishop-designate and a panel of experts, including the director of the papal summer villa at Castel Gandolfo. The tale takes place in a pond guarded over by a statue of Mary in the gardens of the papal villa and features a little goldfish who — even in real life — is fed by Pope Benedict during his evening stroll. Archbishop-designate Ganswein, who will be ordained a bishop January 6 by Pope Benedict and serve as prefect of the papal household, said the book accurately portrays a pope who “pays attention to the littlest creatures.” Young and old, he said, will “discover the mystery of the current pope who we all know is a great theologian with a very acute mind, but who has a very, very, very sensitive soul.” The 56-year-old archbishopdesignate told those gathered for the book launch that during his years as a young assistant pastor in Germany’s Black Forest, he was in charge of the children’s Liturgies. “It is never easy to prepare
a homily — sometimes you are able to do it well, sometimes less so — it depends on several things,” he said. “But preparing a homily for
children is draining,” the archbishop-designate said. “They immediately see if you are being superficial and they are unforgiving if you are not sincere.”
St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School 33 Cross Street Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601 (508) 771-7200 / Fax (508) 771-7233 Lord Teach Us
God Sends a Baby When God wants a miracle to happen on earth, He doesn’t send a legion of angels. When God wants a miracle to happen on earth, He doesn’t send mighty claps of thunder and hurricane force winds. When God wants a miracle to happen on earth, He doesn’t command a powerful army with tanks, missiles, and guns. When God wants a miracle to happen on earth, He sends a tiny baby. And He waits, with patience. A baby is born, so small, so gentle, so full of love. On his lips is a smile of joy and of peace. It is the smile of God. Just think about it: A baby on earth with us. A baby who will laugh and cry and play and care for us all very deeply. A baby so tender, so calm, so mild, so easy to approach. A baby who will perform a miracle. This Advent season, as we await the birth of the baby Jesus, have no fear. Approach Him with joy, with love, with patience, with the trust and tenderness with which you’d approach an infant. Know that God is with us and for us. He is here, on earth, right where we live. A baby! A miracle! Merry Christmas to all in our community! St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School is currently accepting applications for grades five and six.
December 21, 2012
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Christmas Mass 2012 Tuesday, December 25 at Noon An hour-long Mass from St. Mary’s Cathedral
Celebrant is Bishop George W. Coleman of the Diocese of Fall River
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6
master of fright — Anthony Hopkins stars in a scene from the movie “Hitchcock.” For a brief review of this film, see CNS Movie Capsules below. (CNS photo/Fox Searchlight)
Sunday, December 23, 11:00 a.m.
Celebrant is Father Rodney E. Thibault, Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in South Dartmouth
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, December 30, 11:00 a.m.
CNS Movie Capsules NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by Catholic News Service. “Hitchcock” (Fox Searchlight) The legendary film director and “Master of Suspense” gets quite a dressing-down in director Sacha Gervasi’s absorbing adaptation of Stephen Rebello’s 1990 book “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.” Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) is portrayed
as a compulsive voyeur and control freak who suspected the motives of just about everyone, even his devoted wife (Helen Mirren). With stars (Scarlett Johansson, James D’Arcy) playing stars (Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins), the film follows the production of Hitchcock’s biggest success. In crafting it, Hitchcock battled the Hollywood censors to allow an unprecedented degree of explicitness, and contributed to the breakdown of the long-standing production code that had regulated movie content since the 1930s. Graphic re-creations of movie-making violence, a scene of implied adultery, sexual innuendo, some profane and rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III —
Celebrant is Father Kevin A. Cook, Pastor of Holy Family Parish in East Taunton
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, January 6, 11:00 a.m.
from Santo Christo Church
Celebrant is Father John J. Perry, Pastor of St. Jude the Apostle Parish in Taunton
adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Warner Bros.) Epic 3-D adaptation of the opening part of Catholic author J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 children’s novel “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again,” directed by Peter Jackson. In this first installment of a trio of prequels to Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, also based on Tolkien’s fiction, a homebody hobbit (Martin Freeman) is reluctantly convinced by a wizard (Ian McKellen) to accompany and aid a group of dwarves (led by Richard Armitage) in their quest to recapture their ancient stronghold, a storehouse of fabulous wealth long ago conquered by a rampaging dragon. The heroism of ordinary people and the potential for everyday goodness to subdue evil are the primary themes of the long, combat-heavy adventure that follows. As the titular character proves his mettle, the corrupting effects of power are also showcased through his encounter with a cave dweller (Andy Serkis) who is obsessed with — and spiritually enslaved by — a magical ring. Not for the easily frightened or those with short attention spans, Jackson’s sweeping journey across Tolkien’s imaginary world of Middle-earth is an upbeat outing suitable for all others. Much bloodless action violence, some mild grossout humor. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
December 21, 2012
Hope in the midst of tragedy
ike you, I come to church not of God. So, where was God in all of today with a heavy heart. this? We heard it in our first readA heart that is trying to make ing from Zephaniah, “The Lord, sense of the tragedy that took place in Newtown December 14. your God, is in your midst.” Evil yesterday spoke for a moment. In an earlier assignment, I was stationed in New Milford, Conn. And in the moment-upon-moments since, God has been pres— just two towns over from ent in the police and other workNewtown. These types of tragedies always confound us; always ers who ran to the scene. He was present in the teachers and other challenge our minds and our hearts; but somehow it seems even more difficult when it happens so close to home. In the past when we’ve heard of these kinds of things they have been further away — out in By Father Thomas the Midwest, someWashburn, OFM where in the South. Not in our picturesque and peaceful New staff at the school for whom England. These things are not even the word “hero” doesn’t supposed to happen here. And seem quite adequate to explain yet, here we are today. what they did; protecting their What are we to make of all children, some in even the most of this? Some people say things extreme way possible. God has like, “We don’t understand it been present in the overwhelmbut it is part of God’s plan” or ing love of parents rushing to the “God needed another angel,” school and taking their children or some other attempt to find home; in the community that an understanding or something has already gathered and will that makes sense. But I think continue in the days, weeks and step one for us has got to be to acknowledge that it doesn’t make months ahead together — holding each other, crying together, sense. That God didn’t do this; comforting one another, helping that there wasn’t just a need for them get through. another angel or saint or some Certainly one of the things other story. Instead, it is the most that many have said is how this difficult reality of our lives on is an added tragedy being so earth — that sometimes horrible close to Christmas. That it will things happen and they leave be difficult not to associate this us confounded and confused. time of year with what happened. Sometimes evil breaks into our otherwise peaceful existence and And that is true. The singing of happy songs; the laughter around we are rocked by it. But, that doesn’t mean that we the dinner table; the ripping open of presents will be muted; just have to accept that reality. perhaps for quite some time. But, Instead, I think that as always I think that this moment also God does speak to us in these brings to mind what Christmas most challenging of moments. is really about. It’s not about God is not the Author of these those superficial — even if joytragedies; He doesn’t plan them ful — things, as much as we love or condone them. In fact, they them. Christmas is about what are the exact opposite of Him. we celebrate all through Advent God, as St. John tells us, is love leading up to Christmas day; as itself. Anything that is not of we heard from Zephaniah. It is love is not of God. This act was
about a God Who is in our midst. Christmas is all about Emmanuel — a name which we hear over and over again that means “God is with us.” What we celebrate in just a week is the incredible reality that in the darkness; in the struggle and pain that life sometimes brings; in our challenges and in our sorrows — our God chose not to remain distant from us, but that He came into our midst; that He entered our world as one of us; that He came to comfort us; hold us; cry with us; laugh with us; and to be with us in every way possible. The famous dramatist Paul Claudel said it this way, “Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with His presence.” This is the hope of Advent. This is the hope of Christmas. The darkness is never the end of our story; death never wins the day. Tragedy is not our curtain call. For the believer in Jesus Christ, there is always another chapter; one that begins with the Word becoming Flesh. One that ends with a Savior Who conquers even death itself; Who even in the midst of the most horrible things we can imagine brings life right out of the grip of death. In the shock of this moment; in the newness of the pain we feel, it may be hard to see that today; but in faith, in our hearts we must believe it. This is not only the hope of Advent and Christmas; but it is the hope of Newtown and of our towns. It must be the hope that dawns in our hearts. Jesus wants to fill this moment with His presence. So, if someone asks, where was God in all of this, you can answer: Evil spoke for a moment; and God has been speaking since — speaking words of love and comfort and care and hope. Our God is not far away and distant from us, but He is
COMFORT AND JOY — Father Marc H. Bergeron, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Bedford, offers words of comfort on behalf of diocesan Catholics in response to the Sandy Hook School tragedy at an interfaith prayer service held at the Grace Episcopal Church in New Bedford this week. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)
Emmanuel, He is with us; He is here holding us in His arms and comforting us with His words and with His Sacraments — His abiding presence in our midst. Our God has welcomed 26 new saints into the glory of Heaven. We pray for them today. And our God seeks to remind us once again that He is right here in our midst; in our hearts; in our world — reminding us that as we welcome Him with hearts full of grief, we also welcome Him with hearts full of hope in His Son. May God give birth in our hearts to a renewed sense of hope this Christmas; may He help us to become more and more a world of peace, safety
and joy. May all those holy innocents who are now saints in Heaven, rest in peace. And may all those who grieve their loss be comforted by a God who wants to fill their pain and struggle with His loving presence. “The Lord, your God, is in your midst.” May the Lord give each of us His peace. Father Washburn, a New Bedford native, is a former pastor of St. Margaret’s Parish in Buzzards Bay and is currently vocation director of the regional Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception in Boston. He offered to Anchor readers his homily for the weekend of December 15-16.
Marian Medals Ceremony Available on DVD The November 2012 Marian Medals 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, P.O. Box 7, Fall River, Mass., 02722. Shipping is included in the video cost.
all fun and games — Father Gerard Hebert, pastor of St. Anthony’s Parish in East Falmouth, looks at one of the many toys received at the recent open house held at the parish. It was organized by the parish St. Vincent de Paul Society. The toys will be distributed to families in need.
December 21, 2012
The Baby lives on
When this Child grew in hey are in countless age and wisdom, He set out homes and churches on His mission of salvation. across the globe — Nativity He was met with opposition sets (or, to avoid feeling the wrath of my French-Canadian from strangers and townsfolk alike, some who even formed ancestors — crèches). While a mob to kill Him. They tried many debate who and what to suppress His message. Yet were actually there on that the Baby lives on. first Christmas night, three This now-grown Child was common denominators remain sentenced to death, sold with who cannot be debated: Joa kiss on the cheek from one seph, Mary and Baby Jesus. of His closest followers. As a The birth of this great result, this Child was humiliChild is not only the story ated, tortured, nailed to a tree of our salvation, it’s also the story of a Child so loved and so hated that countless people over the last two millennia have defended Him, sometimes to the death, while others have plotted By Dave Jolivet and schemed for His demise. Had this Baby and left to die an excruciating not been so extraordinary, He quite possibly never may have death. The Child was buried, yet rose again on the third come to be. day, and the Baby lives on. His mom, by today’s stanAfter the Child returned dards, was an unwed mother. home to the Father, His folIn His day, that could have lowers faced similar persecumeant death to the mother. tions. They too were hunted By today’s standards, that’s down by governments and reason enough for Him to be terminated. Yet the Baby lives kingships. Attempts were made to suppress their words. on. Although some of the Child’s Such was this Child’s repufollowers were tortured and tation that the King of Judea, killed, the Baby lives on. Herod the Great, sent agents Here we are 2,000-plus to find the Baby to “do Him homage.” In essence to destroy years following that Silent Him. But the agents turned out Night, and the Child’s followers are still facing persecution to be “double agents,” and the in China and other countries Baby lives on. with domineering leaders. Realizing he was duped, In many areas of the world, Herod sought to rectify the followers of this Child, as has situation and kill He Who was destined to become King. happened throughout history, must pay Him homage in seHe ordered the slaughter of cret. But the Baby lives on. all boys throughout Judea In our own country, we’re who were two years old and experiencing something difyounger. Yet, the Child’s ferent. It’s the people who parents kept Him hidden and are urging the government to protected from the Slaughter of the Innocents, and the Baby destroy the Child. Our fellow citizens have prompted the lives on.
My View From the Stands
government to suppress the message, and even His existence. Yet the Baby lives on. The Nativity scenes that were once so prevalent in our nation’s past have been driven behind closed doors. Our fellow citizens are seeing to that. Public displays of the birth of this Child are illegal. Any public references to the words and even the name of this Child are illegal. Yet the Baby lives on. Our fellow citizens have plotted and schemed to suppress His teachings on the dignity of life. They’ve gone as far as promote their own Slaughter of the Innocents, the unborn and the elderly. Yet, the Baby lives on. Christians in the United States are in the early stages of an eminent storm. Not so slowly, yet oh so surely, we are being driven underground. In Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” a repenting Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Future, “Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be, only?” Unless there’s a change in this nation, Christians will face the same hardships others have endured for the last 2,000 years. We will be forced to worship the Child in secret. It may even come to the point where it may cost us our freedom or lives if caught. That’s unsure. It’s not that farfetched. But what is sure is that the Baby will live on. Since His birth, every force known to man, and some not known to man have tried to terminate Him — all to no avail. This Baby will live on far longer than you or I will be around. The Baby lives — forever. I’d like to wish all of you a very blessed Christmas in the words of, in my humble opinion, the greatest Christmas hymn ever penned, Father Joseph Mohr’s and Franz Gruber’s “Silent Night.” “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright Round yon Virgin Mother and Child. Holy Infant so tender and mild. Sleep in Heavenly peace. Sleep in Heavenly peace.” Enjoy the peace of the Baby Jesus this Christmas day. He lives on.
Parish continues to raise funds for 100-year-old pipe organ continued from page two
swing with the first concert held in May of 2004. When the Organ Historical Society hosted its fourday traveling convention in 2005, St. Anthony of Padua’s Parish in New Bedford was originally only a footnote in its schedule, but thanks to the efforts of the parishioners, the organ had been restored to such a state that even the society members were astounded. “Busloads of people came and they filled up the whole church; it was in July, on a Monday. We didn’t even make the regular convention [schedule] because when they first checked the organ, it was in such bad shape,” said Pappas. “But when people heard we had fixed the organ, and what the church was like because they sent out this big brochure ahead of time, people stayed for Monday and we were voted ‘Best of Show.’” The restoration process has been an ongoing project ever since. The idea is simple: “What we need to do is replace the things that are not working, so that everything works,” said Sargent. “There are wooden pieces that have become worn over the 100 years and have to be replaced. They go back to the manufacturer if they still have some hanging
December 21, 2012
around, or they have to be handcrafted. There are several pieces like that that have to be worked on.” There are four keyboards but one was not connected to the organ, a leftover casualty of the lightning strike, said Pappas, adding that it has now been fixed. Then there is the re-leathering; when there is a repair or a tune-up done, new leather pieces are made from a template to fit precisely into each wooden piece, then reattached to send the air up into the pipe; but the biggest job that still needs to be done is the combination action. “The combination action is a regular Rube Goldberg invention because just like when you roll a marble down [to get things going], it’s just exactly like that,” explained Sargent. “In the combination action, there are pistons underneath the keyboard and you push the button and it pops out a set of stops so that you can have, what you call, presets. You push this and you have a certain sound. You want a bigger sound, you push a button and it’s set to do that. If the combination action gets worn, there are certain stops that will not function.” That combination action is a
very important thing for visiting organists to come in and be able to setup the sounds that they want to play, said Sargent, adding it’s also important for the parish organists to be able to push a button to set for a hymn, chant or solo; “It’s a very convenient thing. Modern ones are digital and most modern organs have 10 general pistons; we have five,” he said. Daniel Lemieux of Lemieux and Associates Pipe Organ Company, Ltd., has been working with St. Anthony’s during the restoration process. The goal is to keep as much of the original structure intact or else you begin to lose the quality of the sound. “Keeping an organ in its historic condition is very important,” said Sargent. “You don’t want to change things because when you change things, it becomes more eclectic. To have an organ that could play 18thand 19th-century French music the way it was composed and played then in France, you need to have the instrument be the original way it was put together.” Because the organ was built to specifications of the church, it takes three-quarters of a second for the sound to get from one end of the church to the other. Guest organists have to modify their
playing to make sure they don’t drown out the musical notes, thus swamping the entire performance with echoes and reverberations, said Sargent. The church itself is also celebrating its 100th anniversary and having the one-two punch of sitting in a pew surrounded by incredibly detailed architecture while your ears are filled with gorgeous music just adds to the overall experience of every concert. “I think when people come to this church, they are already immersed in the setting here, which is so conducive to getting in touch with your feelings and your spirituality and faith. So many people consistently, with every event we have here, come to me afterwards and say, ‘I was overwhelmed,’” said Pappas. “I feel the Presence when I am here.” When Father Edward A. Murphy became pastor of St. Anthony’s earlier this year, he had only been to the church twice; his first visit was 15 years ago as a member of a large diaconate class that needed the space of a church that could host the more than 2,000 people who came to that Mass. “It was spectacular as we marched out of the church and looked up,” recalled Father Murphy. “It’s only when you’re leav-
ing the church and look up is when you realize how big [the organ] is.” He continued, “I’ve been doing healing Masses for more than 14 years in various churches and here, with the complementary of the organ and organist, it gives a calmer peace to the setting and to those who are present, which is a great advantage.” The goal is to raise $300,000 and Pappas said that because they have raised half the money, if all those who have already donated have the means to match their donation, then the goal will be met. The fund-raising concerts are also a source of funds and the turnout has been tremendous. “To have an organ of this caliber makes such a big difference to those concerts,” said Father Murphy. “It’s a great testimony to the organizers who put on these concerts. I’ve heard only beautiful remarks about the church and the music. We are blessed to have such a beautiful church that we can host these concerts to give honor and glory to God.” For a full list of the organ and choral concert series, go to www. saintanthonynewbedford.com/77 and to read more about the organ or make a donation, go to www. musicatsaintanthonys.org.
beautiful music — The Southeastern Massachusetts Festival Chorus recently performed its 20th annual Christmas Concert, “Believe,” at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Taunton.
coordinated effort — Catholic Memorial Home in Fall River was the host site for the recent quarterly breakfast meeting of the Fall River area Discharge Planners and Admissions Coordinators. Attending were discharge planners from Charlton Memorial Hospital and Saint Anne’s Hospital, and admissions coordinators from nearly all of the skilled nursing and rehab care facilities in the Fall River area.
STANDING TALL — So that music could still be played when the 100-year-old Casavant organ was first being put together at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford, six racks of pipes were placed in the front of the church on the right-hand side and were run by a small chancel organ, tucked in the front on the left-hand side. Pictured from left: Father Edward Murphy, pastor of St. Anthony’s; Gisele Pappas, concert coordinator; and Thomas Sargent, parish music director and organist. (Photo by Becky Aubut)
the nice list — Students at St. James-St. John School in New Bedford recently enjoyed the Christmas season by shopping for loved ones at the Jolly Jingle Christmas Shoppe.
December 21, 2012
marching orders — St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro recently marched in the city’s Holiday Parade. Makenzie and Aiden Killough joined Johnny, the school’s eagle mascot, as the Grand Marshals. The Living Nativity included Morgan Gayton as Mary, Lucas Ribeiro as Joseph and Sarah Ribeiro as the angel. Father Riley Williams marched along with the students as they all handed out candy canes.
special delivery — Students from St. Pius X School in South Yarmouth recently prepared to deliver food baskets to local families in need.
shoppe keepers — The entire Coyle and Cassidy High School community gathered on the feast of St. Nicholas in order to collect toys in preparation for the annual National Honor Society Toy Shoppe. The Taunton school was transformed into a winter wonderland and more than 300 families were invited to a personal shopping experience in preparation for Christmas, while their children were treated to a visit from Santa and participated in many activities while their parents shopped. From left: National Honor Society officers Matthew Orsi, Emily Curly, Steven Tran, and Andrew McCluskey.
troop support — At a recent monthly gathering of the Corpus Christi Parish Home-schoolers in East Sandwich, local home-schooled kids and parents got together and made Christmas cards to send to troops in Afghanistan.
santa’s helpers — Pre-primary and kindergarten students at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Taunton displayed toys donated to the Coyle and Cassidy High School toy drive.
December 21, 2012
irst, the Holiday Tree vs. the Christmas Tree controversy bounded upon us. Now, as we enter into the last few days of Advent, I am disturbed by the news that came out of Mansfield last week. An elementary school canceled its Holiday Concert because some parents complained the previous year that the concert was too religious. Well, is that not what a Holiday Concert is all about — songs of the season that happen to fall around a holiday? I will not even get into how the word “holiday” is a derivative of “holy day” because, after all, it is just semantics.
Be Not Afraid By Crystal Medeiros
But what concerns me the most is the level of intolerance and bitterness that follows suit. What was once called political correctness one could safely call political absurdity as we debate what terms can be used and what songs sung while on the town square or in our schools during the Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa seasons. Christians, Jews and African-Americans should stand proud and proclaim Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah or Happy Kwanzaa without fear, trepidation or a backlash of intolerance from other people. When I read the article online about the Mansfield school — I am sure it is one of many across the country this year — I, unfortunately, read some of the comments that followed. Call me crazy. The one that found me shaking my head furiously was this: “Our family celebrates Christmas and Easter, but we do not celebrate Jesus Christ.” Huh? I don’t get it. Maybe someone reading this can explain it to me. How can you truly “celebrate” Christmas (we will talk about Easter in a few months) without celebrating Jesus Christ? Is it not His birthday we celebrate on December 25? It is not just a day of exchanging gifts brought down the chimney by that jolly old elf! Perhaps it is because far too many of us have bought into — literally and figuratively — the
idea of the “Christmas Season.” As Catholics we should remember that the Christmas Season does not start the weekend after Labor Day no matter how much Macy’s Christmas tree display which was up on September 7, (yes, I remember the date — long story), would like to tell us so. Advent is our season of preparation, the season we prepare for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only after Christmas Day has come and gone do we enter into the Christmas Season — otherwise known as the Twelve Days of Christmas. But how we can change this attitude? It has to start with a baby step for we cannot believe that this change would occur overnight! As Catholics, we need to take back our Christmas by putting Jesus Christ back into CHRISTmas! We have all seen the e-cards floating around Facebook challenging us to say Merry Christmas to all as we shop for those last-minute gifts or pass by the Salvation Army Bell Ringers outside the store. We have to not be ashamed to say “Merry Christmas” in public. At the same time, we also should be tolerant of the response we will receive. Whether it be “Happy Chanukah” or “Happy Kwanzaa” or even the “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons’ Greetings,” at least we have done a very small part to keep Christ in Christmas in public. Keeping Christ in CHRISTmas in our own homes is the next and perhaps most important step. Have we become part of the hustling and bustling stampedes at the malls for that one perfect gift that so-and-so really wants? We need to take the time to remember that Christmas is not about us as individuals vying for the next iPad and that it is about us as humans who have been blessed by the birth of Christ Who suffered and died for us. Then we will understand the true meaning of Christmas. So to the people who say they celebrate “c”hristmas but not Jesus’ birth, here is what I have to say: Merry CHRISTmas! And may God bless us, everyone! Crystal is assistant director for Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. She can be contacted at cmedeiros@ dfrcec.com.
in fine voice — Students from St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School in Hyannis recently sang with the Cape Cod Chorale under the direction of Chris Roberts. “Christmas Canticles” by Benjamin Harlan was performed by the chorale with the addition of children’s voices in “Suite III.” The students performed a solo number, “Charlie Brown Christmas” with keyboard collaborator Cathy Bonnett and directed by Velna Zuzick.
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Pennies from Heaven
Posada celebration recreates Holy Family’s journey
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is a long way to go. The elections last month prove that. The assisted suicide bill was just barely defeated. There are too many who don’t realize all life is sacred.” “The people who run the Pennies for Babies program at St. John’s do a lot of good. They’re committed people. I’m proud to be their pastor.” He also mentioned that many from both parishes attend the annual Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C. each January. Murphy also mentioned that each October, St. John’s runs a baby shower that collects diapers, clothing and other material essentials. “It’s amazing how much we collect from the baby showers as well,” she added. The hard work of the Pro-Life faithful does not go unnoticed by the beneficiaries. “Birthright calls us their ‘silent partner,’” said Murphy. They are not funded and rely heavily on donations. We help keep their office running. Both agencies have been over-the-hill excited
December 21, 2012
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about this.” “I am so delighted to be a part of the program. It’s one of the things that makes you feel good about what you’re doing. But we couldn’t do any of this without the generosity of the parishioners. It started as something small and it took on a life of its own.” In more ways than one. Murphy told The Anchor that in 2012 alone, the program has raised more than $5,000. All of this is done with little fanfare. “I put a notice in the bulletin maybe once a month, and we will publish the thank you letters we receive so the parishioners can see who it is they are helping. It helps that people can see the good they’re doing. “I hope that other parishes can see what good this is doing and start a program there. It’s really so easy to do. You just need people to coordinate things.” Murphy urges anyone who may have questions about starting a similar program in their parish to call her at 508-563-3561.
St. James Parish in New Bedford, their Posada celebration is more akin to a novena that is spread out over the nine days leading up to Christmas, according to pastor Father Craig Pregana. “The groups gather at different homes and sing a beautiful song, one outside and one inside,” Father Pregana said. “We usually have kids who are dressed up as Mary and Joseph outside, and they ask for Posada — a place to stay. And people respond in song with ‘Yes, please come in.’” Translated stanzas from the traditional Spanish Posada song include the beautiful lyrics: “In the name of Heaven I ask you for shelter, for my beloved wife can go no farther. We are worn out all the way from Nazareth, I am a carpenter named Joseph. We request lodging, dear innkeeper, for only one night for the Queen of Heaven. My wife is Mary. She is the Queen of Heaven, she will be mother to the Divine Word.” Lucca explained that as the readings recount the story of that holy night, children from the parish Faith Formation program and members of the Youth Council act out the drama as it unfolds. “As the program continues, you will hear lessons from the Bible followed by songs that bring the point closer to home,” he said. Working in tandem with the parish youth group and St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Knights of Columbus council also hosts a Christmas party after the Posada re-enactment during which a collection is taken up to help the homeless. “We ask everyone to remember Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter on the night Jesus was born and to also remember those who today are homeless and seeking shelter,” Lucca said. The origins of Posada in the United States can be traced back to the Franciscan priests and monks who first set up Church missions in the American southwest. “The Franciscans were teachers of the faith and they sought out ways to teach simple, humble people the mysteries of the Catholic faith,” Lucca said. “Their Posada celebrates the mystery of Salvation found in the Old Testament’s prophecies of the Messiah
and how Jesus is the fulfillment of those prophecies. It recalls Joseph and Mary’s search for a shelter where Mary would give birth to her Son, Jesus.” Lucca said the evening also includes the singing of traditional Christmas carols and an opportunity for fellowship among attendees. He hopes that scheduling the Posada on the Saturday after Christmas — with the hustle and bustle of the secular season well behind everyone — will encourage even greater participation this year. “Last year, it was held on a weekday night and we had a wonderful turnout,” Lucca said. “More than 100 people attended, which was far more than I expected. We tend to do a lot of things here post-Christmas during the 12 Days of Christmas. Our pastor, Father Joe Viveiros, has always encouraged us to do things during that time.” For Lucca, the Posada is also a unique combination of a social
gathering with an opportunity to instruct. “When St. Luke wrote his Gospel he began by saying: ‘I have written down (this Gospel) for you Theophilus (child of God), so that you may learn and know that the teachings you have received are true,’” Lucca said. “In other words, all Scripture is useful as lessons in life, lessons about God and ourselves.” In New Bedford, the Posada will be celebrated nightly at 7 p.m. through December 24 at Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James Parish and also at St. Kilian’s Parish. St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea will host its second annual Posada on December 29 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the parish center. In Attleboro, the parishes of St. John the Evangelist, Holy Ghost and St. Joseph will celebrate Posada on December 22 and 23, December 28 and 29, January 3 and January 10 at 7 p.m. each night. For location information, call Sister Ana Maria at 508-222-1115.
Around the Diocese 12/24
Masses at La Salette Shrine in Attleboro will be celebrated on December 24, Christmas Eve, at 4 and 6:30 p.m. A special Christmas concert will also be performed that night at 11:30 p.m. prior to midnight Mass. On Christmas Day Masses will be celebrated at 12:10, 4 and 6:30 p.m. There will also be Masses on New Year’s Eve, December 31, at 4 and 6:30 p.m. and on New Year’s Day at 12:10, 4 and 6:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River will present its 15th annual Christmas Carol Sing on December 30 at 3 p.m. The program will feature the Cathedral Choir singing carols from France, Spain, Poland, Italy and Germany. In addition, all in attendance will be invited to sing familiar carols, so bring friends and family for an hour of joyful music to celebrate the beauty of the Christmas season. There is no charge for admission, but those who wish may give a freewill offering to help the Society of St. Vincent de Paul during this season of giving.
The Fall River Area Men’s First Friday Club will meet January 4 at the Chapel of St. Mary’s Cathedral, 327 Second Street, Fall River, continuing its 65th year of activity. Following the 6 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Karl Bissinger, secretary to Bishop Coleman, there will be a hot-meal in the school hall across the street. The guest speaker is Craig Jesiolowski, president of Saint Anne’s Hospital. Attendance at the meal is open to any gentleman interested in this gathering. Guests or their member sponsors must notify Norman Valiquette at 508-672-8174 for guest seat reservations or with any questions.
A Day with Mary will be held January 5 at Our Lady’s Chapel, 600 Pleasant Street in New Bedford from 8:45 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. It will include a video presentation, procession and crowning of the Blessed Mother with Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and an opportunity for Reconciliation. There is a bookstore available during breaks. Please bring a bag lunch. For more information call 508-996-8274.
Scripture Alive, a six-week Bible sharing session for adults held on Tuesday mornings or evenings will begin January 8 from 10 a.m. to noon at St. John Neumann Parish in East Freetown or at the Catholic Education Center, 423 Highland Avenue in Fall River from 7 to 9 p.m. Both sessions are facilitated by Sister Frances Thomas, diocesan assistant director for Catechesis and Formation. Register for the sessions by contacting Sister Frances or Rose Mary Saraiva at the Office of Faith Formation at 508-678-2828.
A 10-week Alpha for Catholics Course on the basics of the Gospel and the Christian way of life will begin on January 23 at 6:45 p.m. at St. Bernadette’s Parish, 529 Eastern Avenue in Fall River. The course will involve a meal, a 45-minute movie, and small group discussion each night. Alpha is designed for those who want to learn the basics of Christianity in a relaxed and non-threatening way, for those who are willing to give the Catholic faith a second look, and for practicing Catholics who want to get to know the foundations of their faith better and learn how to present it more persuasively and attractively to others. The course is free, but there’s a small free-will donation for food. For more info or to register, please call St. Bernadette’s at 508-679-1991 or email email@example.com.
Adoption by Choice, an adoption and pregnancy counseling program of Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Fall River, will hold an information session for individuals interested in domestic newborn or international adoptions on January 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Catholic Social Services central office, 1600 Bay Street in Fall River. For more information or directions, call 508-674-4681 or visit www.cssdioc. org. Handouts and refreshments will be available and there is no charge for the session.
December 21, 2012
Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese
Acushnet — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Evening prayer and Benediction is held Monday through Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ATTLEBORO — 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 until 6 p.m. in the Daily Mass Chapel. There is a bilingual Holy Hour in English and Portuguese from 5-6 p.m. Park behind the church and enter the back door of the connector between the church and the rectory. Falmouth — St. Patrick’s Church has Eucharistic Adoration each First Friday, following the 9 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 4:30 p.m. The Rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. MASHPEE — Christ the King Parish, Route 151 and Job’s Fishing Road has 8:30 a.m. Mass every First Friday with special intentions for Respect Life, followed by 24 hours of Eucharistic Adoration in the Chapel, concluding with Benediction Saturday morning followed immediately by an 8:30 Mass. NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic Adoration takes place 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 233 County Street, with night prayer and Benediction at 8:45 p.m., and Confessions offered during the evening. Please use the side entrance. NEW BEDFORD — There is a daily holy hour from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue. It includes Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the Rosary, and the opportunity for Confession. NEW BEDFORD — St. Lawrence Martyr Parish, 565 County Street, holds Eucharistic Adoration in the side chapel every Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. NORTH DARTMOUTH — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Julie Billiart Church, 494 Slocum Road, every Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m., ending with Benediction. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available at this time. NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic Adoration takes place every First Friday at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring Street following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with Benediction at 6 p.m. The Rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 8 a.m. OSTERVILLE — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 76 Wianno Avenue on First Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to noon. SEEKONK — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish has Eucharistic Adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508-336-5549. Taunton — Eucharistic Adoration takes place every Tuesday at St. Anthony Church, 126 School Street, following the 8 a.m. Mass with prayers including the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for vocations, concluding at 6 p.m. with Chaplet of St. Anthony and Benediction. Recitation of the Rosary for peace is prayed Monday through Saturday at 7:30 a.m. prior to the 8 a.m. Mass. taunton — Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament takes place every First Friday at Annunciation of the Lord, 31 First Street. Expostition begins following the 8 a.m. Mass. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed, and Adoration will continue throughout the day. Confessions are heard from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Rosary and Benediction begin at 6:30 p.m. WAREHAM — Every First Friday, Eucharistic Adoration takes place from 8:30 a.m. through Benediction at 5:30 p.m. Morning prayer is prayed at 9; the Angelus at noon; the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m.; and Evening Prayer at 5 p.m. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street (Rte. 28), holds perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. We are a regional chapel serving all of the surrounding parishes. All from other parishes are invited to sign up to cover open hours. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716. WOODS HOLE — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Joseph’s Church, 33 Millfield Street, year-round on weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No Adoration on Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays. For information call 508-274-5435.
The Anchor In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks Dec. 22 Rev. Adriano Moniz, Retired Pastor, Our Lady of Angels, Fall River, 1964 Rev. Armand P. Paradis, S.J., Psychologist, San Francisco, Calif., 1991 Dec. 23 Rev. Owen J. Kiernan, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Fall River, 1901 Rev. Charles P. Trainor, SS, St. Edward Seminary, Seattle, Wash., 1947 Rev. Msgr. John A. Silvia, Retired Pastor, St. John the Baptist, New Bedford, 1970 Rev. William E. Collard, Retired Pastor, St. Theresa, New Bedford, 1986 Dec. 24 Rev. James K. Beaven, Pastor, Sacred Heart, Taunton, 1886 Rev. Timothy J. Duff, Assistant, St. Joseph, Woods Hole, 1914 Dec. 27 Rev. Thomas J. Stapleton, Pastor, Corpus Christi, Sandwich, 1956 Rev. Msgr. Armand Levasseur, Retired Pastor, St. Anne, New Bedford, 1970 Rev. Manuel Andrade, Former Pastor, Our Lady of Health, Fall River, 1995 Dec. 28 Rev. Charles R. Smith, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Fall River, 1955 Rev. Edward J. Sharpe, Pastor, St. Patrick, Somerset, 1987 Rev. Clement Paquet, O.P., Assistant, St. Anne, Fall River, 1987 Dec. 29 Rev. Msgr. J. Armand Levasseur, Retired Pastor, St. Anne, New Bedford, 1969 Rev. Rafeal Flammia, SS.CC., Retired Pastor, Our Lady of the Assumption, New Bedford, 1993 Dec. 30 Rev. Thomas C. Mayhew, Pastor, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Seekonk, 1991 Jan. 1 Rev. Jose Valeiro, Pastor, St. Elizabeth, Fall River, 1955 Rev. Antonio M. Fortuna, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, New Bedford, 1956 Rev. Francis R. Connerton, SS. STD., St. John’s Seminary, Plymouth, Mich., 1968 Rev. Leo T. Sullivan, Pastor, Holy Name, New Bedford, 1975 Jan. 4 Rev. Eugene L. Dion, Pastor, Blessed Sacrament, Fall River, 1961 Rev. Joseph L. Powers, Founder, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, No. Falmouth, 1999 Rev. Francis B. Connors, Retired Pastor, Our Lady of Victory, Centerville, 2003 Jan. 5 Rev. William McClenahan, SS.CC. Former Pastor, Holy Redeemer, Chatham, 1994 Jan. 6 Rev. James F. Roach, Founder, Immaculate Conception, Taunton, 1906 Rev. Rene G. Gauthier, Pastor, St. Jean Baptiste, Fall River, 1997 Jan. 7 Rev. Alfred R. Forni, Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi, New Bedford, 1970 Rev. Gustave Gosselin, M.S., La Salette Shrine, Attleboro, 1989 Rev. Jude Morgan, SS.CC., Former Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes, Wellfleet, 2003 Rev. Raymond A. Robida, 2003 Jan. 8 Rev. John Kelly, Founder, St. Patrick, Fall River, 1885 Rev. Alfred J. Carrier, Founder, St. Jacques, Taunton, 1940 Rev. Arthur C. Lenaghan, USA Chaplain, Killed in Action, 1944 Rev. Evaristo Tavares, Retired, Our Lady of the Angels, Fall River, 2000 Rev. Louis Joseph, U.S. Air Force, 2000 Jan. 9 Rev. William F. Morris, Pastor, Corpus Christi, Sandwich, 1982 Jan. 10 Rev. Jourdain Charron, O.P., Dominican Priory, Fall River, 1919 Rev. George H. Flanagan, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Fall River, 1938 Rev. Msgr. Emmanuel Sousa de Mello, Retired Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes, Taunton, 1977
Cisaltina F. Gomes, mother of Father John A. Gomes
NEW BEDFORD — Cisaltina F. “Sally” Gomes, 91, formerly of New Bedford, passed away December 11 in Worcester after a lengthy illness. The widow of Alexandre G. Gomes and mother of Father John A. Gomes of Taunton and Angela Rothera of Auburn, she was the daughter of the late João and Virginia Freitas; grandmother of Bernard Ryan, Brendan Ryan and the late Kristin Tessier; and sister of Fernando Freitas of Lisbon, Portugal, and Delta Fer-
reira of Madeira. She also leaves eight greatgrandchildren and several nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated December 15 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Fall River, with private burial following. Funeral arrangements were from the Silva-Faria Funeral Home, also in Fall River. Donations in her memory can be made to Notre Dame LongTerm Care Center, 559 Plantation Street, Worcester, Mass. 01605.
Orcutts receive Holy Cross award continued from page three
a beautiful way.” Terry Orcutt, in turn, credited Father Callahan and his fellow Holy Cross priests with inspiring her and her husband over the years and giving them the guidance and support to see their ministry come to fruition. “To say Father Joe Callahan is our friend understates our relationship,” she said. “He is our dear brother in Christ: our gentle, humble, guiding light who is always bringing us full circle, back to Christ. In the 12 years that we have served together, Father Callahan has become the face of Holy Cross to virtually thousands of laymen and laywomen.”
In addition to their work at My Brother’s Keeper, Jim is also the program director and Terry is an associate director of the Holy Cross Retreat House in Easton. Married for 41 years, the couple has three children and six grandchildren. “We are honored to receive the Spirit of Holy Cross Award,” Jim Orcutt said. “But the diamond that lies at the root of Jim and Terry and My Brother’s Keeper is the Congregation of the Holy Cross. It falls to us laymen and laywomen who love Holy Cross to carry its banner, to toot its horn, to let others know that it is not us alone, but Holy Cross that teaches us and points us on the path of Christ.”
December 21, 2012 Be sure to visit the Diocese of Fall River website at fallriverdiocese.org The site includes links to parishes, diocesan offices and national sites.