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VOL. 48, NO. 49 • Friday, December 24, 2004
FALL RIVER, MASS.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
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"Glory to God in the .highest, and peace to his people on earth." These joyful words, [lIst sung by ,the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night, become OUf own, once again, as we celebrate the birth of Our Savior this Christmas. At Christmas, we join the Church throughout the world in celebrating the truth of the Incarnation, the truth that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The prophets had foretold that .the Savior would come, but never did they imagine that God Himself would come among us as one of us! When God became man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and joined His divine nature to our frail human nature, Heaven and earth were united as
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Friday, December 24, 2004
Christmas Masses to be broadcast FALL RIVER Bishop in East Freetown. Concelebrating the Mass with George W. Coleman will be the principal celebrant of a Christmas . Bishop Coleman will be Msgr. Mass to be televised on ABC Stephen 1. Avila, pastor of the parChannel 6 (WLNE-TV) on Christ~ ish and the director of the Televimas morning from 10 to 11 a.m. sion Mass Apostolate for the dioIt will be a delayed broadcast of cese. Also, the Christmas Midnight the Christmas Vigil Mass celebratedat 4:00 p.m. on Christmas Mass celebrated in Portuguese at Eve at St. John Neumann Church St. Michael Church in Fall River
will air on the Portuguese Channel at 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Day. The Portuguese Channel is carried by many cable television systems in the area. Father Luis A. Cardoso, pastor of St. Michael Parish, will celebrate the Mass. Parish parochial vicar Father Scott Ciosek will concelebrate.
Cape parish to host January Life in the Spirit Seminar BREWSTER - Our Lady of the Cape Parish Center, at 468 Stony Brook Road, will be the site of a Life in the Spirit Seminar on January 8, 15, 22 and 29. Each session will run from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The Life in the Spirit Seminar is open to all individuals who wish to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. Additionally, this is an ideal opportunity for those who have previously attended a Life in the
Spirit Seminar to refresh and renew the benefits already received: . The Cape Cod Prayer Group Deanery, and its chaplain, La Sa lette Father Richard Lavoie will present talks and witnesses.
All are invited to attend to meet and greet old friends and make new ones. To register call Libby Griffin at 508-255-4679; Alice Bahnsen at 508-398-1139; or Dottie Peluso at 508-428-9456.
Please pray for the following priests during the coming weeks
Daily Readings Dec 27 Dec 28 Dec 29
THE VATICAN Christmas tree and the top of St. Peter's. Basilica are seen after the inaugural lighting of the tree. (CNS photo from Reuters)
Dec路30 Dec 31 Jan
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'1 In 1:1-4; Ps 97: 1-2,5-6,11-12; In 20:1a,2-8 1 In 1:5~2:2; Ps 124:2-5,7b-8; Mt 2:13-18 1 In 2:3-11; Ps 路96:1-3,5-6; Lk 2:22-35 1 In 2:12-17; Ps 96:7-10; Lk2:3640 1 In 2:18-21; Ps 96:1-2,11-13; In 1:1-18 Nm 6:22-27; Ps 67:2-3,5-6,8; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21 Is 60: 1-6; Ps 721:2,7-8,10-13; Eph 3:2-3a,5-6; Mt 2:1-12 1In 3:22-4:6; Ps 2:7-8,10-12a; Mt 4:12-17,23-25 1 In 4:7-10; Ps 72:1-4,7-8; Mk 6:34-44 1 In 4:11-18; Ps 72:1-2,10,12-13; Mk 6:45-52 1 In 4: 19-q:4; Ps 72:12,14,15bc,17; Lk 4:14-22a 1 In 5:5-13; Ps 147:12-15,19-20; Lk 5:12-16 1 In 5:14-21; Ps 149:1-6a,9b; In 3:22-30 Is 42:1-4,6-7; Ps 29: 1-2,3-4,9-1 0; Acts 10:34-38; Mt 3:13-17
row 1111111111111111111111111111111 THE ANCHOR (USPS-545-020) Periodical Postage Paid at Fall River. Mass. Published weekly except for two weeks in July and the week after Christmas at 887 Highland Avenue, Fall River, Mass. 02720 by the Catholic Press ofthe Diocese ofFall River. Subscription price by mail, postpaid $14.00 per year. POSTMASTERS send address changes to The Anchor, P.O. Box 7, Fall River, MA 02722..
Dec. 27 1956, Rev. Thomas 1. Stapleton, Pastor, Corpus Christi, Sandwich 1970, Rev. Msgr. Armand Levasseur, Pastor Emeritus, St. Anne, New Bedford 1995, Rev. Manuel Andrade, Catholic Memorial Home, Fall River Dec. 28 . 1955"Rev. Charles R. Smith, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Fall ' .River.. 1987, Rev. Edward J. Sharpe, Pastor, St. Patrick, Somerset; Rev. Clement Paquet, O.P., Assistant, St. Anne, Fall River Dec. 30 1991, Rev. Thomas C. Mayhew, Pastor, Our Lady ofMt. Carmel, Seekonk
1955, Rev. Jose Valeiro, P~tor, St. Elizabeth, Fall River 1956, Rev. Antonio M. Forturia, Pastor,.Imimteulate Conception, New Bedford ~~ 1968, Rev. Francis R._Gonnerton, SS.STD., St. John's Seminary, Plymouth, Michig,,~ \ \ 1975, Rev. Leo T. Sullivan, Pastor, Holy Name, New Bedford .
1961, Rev. EugeneL. Dion, Pastor, Blessed Sacrament, Fall River 1999, Rev. Joseph L. Powers, Foun\!~r, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, No. Falmouth \ " 2003, Rev. Francis B. Connors, Retired'Pastor, Our Lady of Vic'V tory, Centerville
Jan. 5 1994, Rev. William McClenahan, SS.Cc.
Jan. 6 1906, Rev. James F. Roach, Foundf;f, Immaculate Conception, Taunton . 1997, Rev. Rene G. Gauthier, Pastor, St. J~an Baptiste, Fall River
Jan. 7 1970, Rev. Alfred R. Forni, Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi, New Bedford 1989, Rev. Gustave Gosselin, M.S., La Salette Shrine, Attleboro 2003, Rev. Jude Morgan, SS.Cc., Damien Residence, Fairhaven
Jan. 8 1885, Rev. John Kelly, Founder, St. Patrick, Fall River 1940, Rev. Alfred J. Carrier, Founder, St. Jacques. Taunton 1944, ~~v. ,Arthur C. Lenaghan, Chaplain, United States Army
Jan. 9 1982, Rev. William F. Morris, Pastor, Corpus Christi, Sandwich
Friday, December 24, 2004
Seminarian to be ordained as a transitional deacon January 8 ~
Thomas E. Costa Jr., is en route to being ordained a priest in July.
SEEKONK - Thomas E. Costa Jr., 34, of St. Mary's Parish, in his final year of theological studies at Blessed Pope John XXIII Seminary in Weston, will be ordained a transitional deacon January 8 by Bishop George W. Coleman in St. Mary's Cathedral, Fall River. He will be vested in stole and dalmatic, the traditionalliturgical vestments of a deacon, by Father Bruce M. Neylon, pastor of St. Stanislaus Parish, Fall River: where Costa is serving a field assignment. The son of Mrs. Ann Marie Costa of Seekonk, and the late Thomas E. Costa Sr., the candidate's home parish is St. Mary's in Seekonk. He has a younger brother and sister. Following graduation from Seekonk High School in 1988, he entered the University of Hartford in Connecticut and received a bachelor's degree in political science in 1992. "Then I went into the working world," he told The Anchor in a recent interview. His first job was as a full-time youth minister in New Jersey.. After that he worked in an audio and video teleconferencing company in Colorado for a few years. He then moved back to this area and was employed by a courier service in Boston doing administrative work. Asked how his vocation to the priesthood came about, Costa said, "my vocation story is probably longer than most. I was heavily influenced by my family and good priests ... and without those influences I don't
know if I would have heard God's call. I thank my parents and my grandparents for teaching me to pray; for meeting good priests along the way who encouraged me, and for their prayers and their faith in me,"
work; in talk with my friends; in the decisions I make and where I went." Admitting finally that "it was tugging at my heart, I had to make a decision to try this," Costa said candidly. "If I had entered formation and things didn't work out, I was no less off. And yes, I was afraid at first to tell anyone about it. "But the seminary gives you that time away," for God to talk to you and communicate to you more clearly," he said. Costa entered Blessed Pope John XXIII Seminary, which involves those said to be "late vocations in life." Most of his classmates are in their lat~ 40s or 50s. The program is intense, but specially constructed for them. "There were a lot of 'God moments' along the way," he said. "It is not something you would want to do overnight. "We're a pretty close group and swap stories. All of us came
he added. "At first I think I laughed at . the idea that I had a vocation," he said. He was an altar server, took part in youth groups and during evening college was president of the Newman Club. "I played sports and did most of the things young single people do," Costa said. "I never thought about the priesthood, but when that thought came, it was quite a knock. It was· amazing. God doesn't give you all, but he does give you the things you need to acknowledge. Ii isn't something you enter into with complete certainty. One of the things that happened was a change in my prayer life and of course, daily Mass. I began to find God not just in my Sunday Mass but every day and in my
from the working world - and not just out of college. And while the world has had an interesting four years, so have we," he noted. "There was 9/11, the war in the Iraq and the scandal of child abuse in the Church." The seminary studies were accompanied by field training and parish assignments. His first summer he served at St. Michael's Parish in Swansea. In subsequent years his field education was served at St. Patrick's Manor in Framingham ministering to the aged and infirm; at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in
Provincetown with the diocesan AIDS Ministry; teaching the confirmation class and working with the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults in St. Mary's in Holliston; and currently at St. Stanislaus Parish for the remainder of his seminary training. With just a few days before ordination to the diaconate, Costa described his feelings as "overwhelming. I feel God has filled my cup. He has given me all I need, but knowing there is so much more to come."
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A FAREWELL gathering was held earlier this year by members of Holy Name Parish, for Jesus and Mary Sister Diane Dube, RENEW coordinator, prior to her departure to the order's Mother House. Also pictured is former Faith Sharing Group leader Franciscan Father Michael Ciryak.
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Friday, December 24, 2004
the living word
Merry Christmas There can be little doubt that "Merry Christmas" is under attack. We now have adopted a "Happy Holiday" mode as a unifying substitute for the real reason for the season. In our attempt to be inclusive and accepted, Christmas is being reduced to a mere secular excuse for a crass commercial binge. . There are powerful liberal forces that are striving to make this country a complete a-religious society. Many believe that the first step in this process was the removal of God and prayer from public education. This, of course, led to other procedures wherein ethics and morality became mutual nothings. Since this course of action was so successful, it was time to invade all of American life. So we have consented to legalize gay marriages and partial-birth abortion. We are now seriously considering that a drug society become an acceptable entity. Given this mind-set of non-interfering indifference, why should we be surprised that Christmas is being targeted as.the new battleground. From coast to coast,the litany of non-offending actions is being implemented with a vengeance. In the Midwest, the "community tree" has replaced the Christmas tree. In their foolishness, many schools have ruled that songs with a mention of Christmas be removed from choral presentations. In one institution, a performance of "A Christmas Carol;' was rescinded because Tiny Tim dares to say, "God bless us, everyone." Holiday is now Holly Day; Christmas trees .are now referred to in generic, and Nativity Scenes have been replaced with secul!ifsymools. Jeff Jacoby, a practicing Jew, recently wrote, "I like a society that makes a big deal of religious holidays. Far from feeling threatened when the sights and sounds of Christmas surround me each December, I find them reassuring. They reaffirm the importance of Judeo-Christian culture that has made America so exceptional and su'ch a safe and tolerant haven for a religious minority like mine." The anti-Christmas fundamentalists should let these words penetrate their narrow vision. In their demand that the vast Christian majority make every attempt to keep their religious feelings to themselves, they become intolerant, outrageous and insufferable. In fact, they become a voice of injustice and inequality. They are.nothing more than anti-religious fanatics. On the other hand, those who should be striving to keep religious and cultural practices alive have fallen into a non-committal sleep. They allow the radical anti-Christmas zealots to have their way by refusing to stand up to them, lest they are seen as offensive. This so-called· silent majority should become vocal witness to what it believes is a meaningful celebration of the times. Christmas is not exclusive; it is inclusive. It's a time to bring people together. To be separated from one another at this time of year is most difficult. So this year in America we reach out to those in the. military who are far from home. We must pray that the joy of the season heals their hearts. It is important also to go beyond our families and reach out to those who may be Christian to let them know that the sounds and sights of Christmas dispel the darkness of the intolerant and the biased. Let us not forget that Christmas is the story of the child who holds out to us the full and final answers in our personal quest to know what we can know, what we ought to do, and what we may hope for. To do this we must encounter the truth of Christmas. In this child we will find the fullness of truth. In this spirit, let us truly rejoice in a Merry Christmas.
The Executive Editor
OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Published weekly by the Catholic Press of the Diocese of Fall River 887 Highland Avenue P.O. BOX 7 Fall River, MA 02720 Fall River, MA 02722-0007 Telephone 508-675-7151 FAX 508-675-7048 E-mail: TheAnchor@Anchornews.org Send address changes to P.O. Box, call or use E-mail address
Rev. Msgr. John F. Moore EDITOR
David B. Jollvet
James N. Dunbar
Barbara M. Reis
RACHEL PERRY FROM OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PARISH, NEW BEDFORD, SMILES AS SHE PORTRAYS OUR BLESSED MOTHER DURING A RECENT CEREMONY.
"AND TIllS WIlL BE A SIGN FOR YOU: YOU WIlL FIND AN INFANT WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES AND LYING IN A MANGER. AND SUDDENLY THERE WAS MULTITUDE OF THE HEAVENLY HOST
THE ANGEL, PRAISING GOD AND
SAYING: 'GWRYTO GOD IN THE IHGHEST AND ON EARTII PEACE TO THOSE ON
'Let us go now to' Bethlehem!' It is the night ofour dear Savior's . dignity. birth, the night when "he appeared , But he didn't even stop there. and the soul felt its worth." The [mal step of his abasement Those words from "0 Holy and our exaltation was indelibly Night," like the lyrics from most trea- brought home to me during my first sured Christmas hymns, are enough Christmas Mass as a priest - on to fill our souls with awe and our September 21,1999, a few months minds with memories "f the exhila- after my priestly ordination. rating graces of past Christmases. I was in Bethlehem, with two Bufthe reality of the words is 'semllar)r classmates',' on a pilgrim1 more awesome than the thrillage to thank God for the gift of the in . ions they evoke: Christ- priesthood. At each of the sacred mas shows our true worth. So great sites throughout the Holy Land, the is our value to God that he took on our humanity so that we might take on his divinity. The love of the Lord is shown in how low he was willing to go to save us. By Father Roger The King of Kings was J. Landry born not in a palace, but in astable. He was clothed not L.. _ in fme royal purple, but in poor swaddling clothes. He was Mass proper for the site is celebrated: placed not in a regal bedroom but in in Nazareth, the Annunciation; in the an animal trough. He was sur- Upper Room, Holy Thursday; at the rounded not by princely courtiers but empty tomb, Easter Sunday. In the by animals. city of David, we had the privilege And that was just the beginning. to celebrate Christmas Mass for the He would be hunted down by first time. assassins while he still nursed, an ilBefore Mass, we prayed in the legal alien in Egypt before he could grotto where Christ was born. After walk, a seemingly unexceptional descending to the nethennost parts Nazarene carpenter until 30, and of the Basilica of the Nativity, we, then an itinerant preacher who did like all pilgrims, dropped to our not even have a borrowed stable to knees and crawled underneath the lay his head (Mt 8:20). altar in the grotto, where there is a When his hour finally came,he' silver star, fixed to the floor, that exwould take a towel and wash feet, poses the stable's original gr.ound. be betrayed by one of his closest On the star there was a Latin inscri~ friends, framed by the leaders of his tion that brought home to us the hispeople, rejected by the crowds in torical and geographical reality of favor of a murderer, and publicly Christ's birth: executed between two. thieves by Hie de Virgine Maria Jesus soldiers he had foimed in their moth- Christus natus est ("Here from the ers'wombs. Vngin Mary Jesus Christ was born"). He was, as Bishop Fulton J. A short time later, we offered Sheen summarized, ','born in a Mass in a nearby chapel. It was such stranger's cave and buried in a . a great joy to celebrate the ·Christstranger's grave." From the begin- mas mysteries where they actually ning to the end, his incessant humil- occurred. But the most unforgettable ity manifested both his love and our moment came right after the three
Putting Into the Deep
of us pronounced the words of consecration. One of my priest friends illicitly but devoutly uttered words that are not found in the ritual: HIC Jesus Christus natus est ("HERE [he stressed] Jesus Christ is born"). The truth he couldn't contain was that the same Jesus - whom Mary wrapped iri diapers· - we ·had just placed on the altar. Bethlehem, literally the "house of bread," was again the house ofthe "Living Bread come down from heaven"(Jn 6:51). For the rest of the Mass, we experienced, I think, a little of the amazement Mary and Joseph must have felt in the same spot 2000 years before. Five years later, the Vicar of Christ has called all of us to live an "intensely Eucharistic" year. This means that he is encouraging us to live an intensely Eucharistic Christmas. In his beautiful 2002 encyclical on the Eucharist, he urged us to model our "eucharistic amazement" on Mary's Christmas awe: "Is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms, that unparalleled model oflove, which should inspire us every time we receive eucharistic Communion?" The greatest manifest~tion of God's humility and love - and our worth! - is the Eucharist, when he whom the angels, shepherds, and magi adored becomes our very food. Emmanuel, God-with-us, is still with us. The tabernacle is the modern manger. This is "good news of great joy for all the people." Come, let us adore him!
Father Landry is a parochial vicar at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Hyannis.
Friday, December 24, 2004
A Scrooge by any other name My family and I have just about any name listed on a watched so many different Major League Baseball roster, versions of Charles Dickens' "A because unlike our friend Christmas Carol," this ChristEbenezer, this cast of characters mas season, that I've lost track. hasn't changed their greedy We've seen old Ebenezer portrayed by Albert Finney, Michael Caine (along with scores of talented Muppets), Mr. Magoo, Bill Murray, and a host of other human and notBy Dave Jolivet so-human actors. (I'm still waiting for the SpongeBob SquarePants ways, nor does it seem likely version I guarantee will become an instant classic.) The infamous they ever will. In fact, Scrooge at his worst miser has sung, danced, and was a choirboy compared to humbugged his way into our most of today's professional hearts each and every time. I'm not quite sure which athletes. At least it was never version I was watching when it about "respect" for Ebbie. It was dawned on me that it's really always about the money, and he quite a compliment to call made no bones about it. someone today a "Scrooge." No I received an E-mail from a reader this week saying, "Unformatter which interpretation, tunately, what salaries like this Scrooge emerges on Christmas (Pedro's) and others does, is to morning as a kind, loving and make game attendance for the generous human being. He becomes a man who was "better real (ans out of reach for them and their families." Scrooge than his word," after promising lambasted his clerk Bob Cratchit to change his skinflint ways. After all is said and done I think for requesting Christmas Day off, grumbling, "It's a poor it would be an honor to be excuse for picking man's pocket called Scrooge. Now if you really want to call every December 25 th ." Today's "Scrooges" pick the fans' someone a nasty, moneypockets every day of the year. grubbing, selfish human being, try calling him or her a Pedro, or They've "decreased the surplus population" of fans, whittling a Varitek, or a Renteria, or a them.down to only those who Beltran, or an A-Rod, or Ramirez, etc., etc. etc. Call them can afford to drop a couple of
From the Stands
hundred bucks a game to attend. To the rest of you bah, humbug! Perhaps what we need is a Ghost of Baseball Past, a Ghost of Baseball Present, and a Ghost of Baseball Future to make a visit. But the Players' Association would never approve that. How about a visit from a deceased, steroidravaged player, warning of the consequences of the errors of his ways? Nope, that's just an appeal in the making. Some day we'll happen upon a grave marker in a snowencrusted cemetery. We'll reach down and scratch the frost from the engraved name and read "Major League Baseball - died penniless and scandalized. Ravaged by the very men who profited from her." There'll be no Christmas morning miracle to save it, because the Scrooges of today have souls that are dead, dead as doornails. And only the fans will mourn. At the risk of being called to task by the ACLU, I'd like to take this time to wish all our readers a merry, blessed Christmas. God (yes God!) bless us all. Everyone'. . Dave Jolivet, editor of 'The
Anchor, is a fonner sports editor/writer, and regularly gives one fan's perspective on the unique world of sports. Comments are 'welcome at dave;email@example.com.
Diocesan Vocations Office to host information session January 9 NORTH DARTMOUTH The Vocations Office of the Diocese of Fall River is hosting an informational session for anyone over 18 years of age who may be discerning a .vocation to a life of service to God's people as a Catholic priest, deacon, or religious Brother or Sister. The informational session will take place on January 9, from 2
to 4 p.m. at St. Julie Billiart Parish Center, 494 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth. The theme of the afternoon will be "Come and See." Anyone who has ever contemplated a life of service in the Church is encouraged to attend. The afternoon will include prayer, personal witness stories of those already serving the Church,
51 Letters to the Editor Editor:
a better one. I'm very disappointed to Romeo Lafond read a number of Catholic Marstons Mills publications extolled the re- Editor: sults of the presidential elecI don't want to be judgmention. All Christians' should be tal, but I am having serious pleased to counter the evils of problems understanding how abortion, as I am. But, the any practicing Catholic could election of G.w. Bush should have supported the policies of be equally distasteful. The na- the Democratic Party of 2004. tional media is being monopoI was amazed and dismayed lized to prevent fair, honest by the number of bumper stickand fully disclosed news to all ers that could be seen on cars American citizens. When are in Church parking lots on Sunwe going to produce a candi- day. Obviously the car operadate that represents real social tors care enough about their justice and integrity in govern- faith to put in an appearance at ment? Wouldn't it be nice if Sunday Mass, but the disconEWTN, Mother Angelica and nect between the positions of The Anchor, could present all the Church and the positions of the real facts to all Christians the Democtatic Party on literand American citizens about ally so many life-or-death iswhat is going on in Washing- sues would lead one to believe ton and what directions that the Bumper Sticker BriCatholics and other Christians gade had found some acceptshould be taking. We might able "middle ground" that emulate Our Savior, Jesus would encourage both Mass atChrist, showing our love of tendance and support for all the neighbor by pushing for hon- noxious policies promoted by esty in government and fair the Kerry's and Kennedy's of treatment for the poor and the world. . I would be interested to needy of our country and all the world. When or where has know what sleight-of-conour current president or con- science is involved here. gressionalleaders done these Maybe one of our well-known things? The recent election "personally opposed" politimay have shown a distaste for cians can step up and explain a pro-choice candidate, but it his/her method of accommodoes not represent a case for dating both God and political real Catholic values. An hon- expediency simultaneously. est effort would have been to Should be fun to watch. B. Black reject both leading candidates, Falmouth or better yet, to come up with
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and a question and answer period. For more information, contact your parish priest or call the Vocations Office at 508-675-1311. All are welcome.
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La Salette Retreat Center 947 Park Street Attleboro, MA 02703·5115 508·222·8530 January. 2005 New Year's Eve Retreat - Fr. Dan Bradley, MS 1/3 Grandparenting - Dorothy Levesque - 10:30 a.m. 1/6 Grief Education - Sr. Judith Costa, SSD - 6:30 p.m. 117-9 Praying with the Senses - Fr. Dan Bradley, MS 1/11 Grandparenting - Dorothy Levesque - 7:00 p.m. 1/14-16 Yoga Retreat - Judith Medeiros 1/16 Afternoon Recollection - Fr. Fern Cassista, MS - 1:00 p.m. 1/21-23 Women's Retreat - Dorothy Levesque + Fr. Roger Plante, MS 1/24 Grief Education - Sr. Judith Costa, SSD - 10:30 a.m. 1128-30 Loving Nature Retreat - Susan MacKenzie, Ph. D.
Friday, December 24, 2004
Snow day! Publicity Chairmen are asked to submit news items for this column to The Anchor, P.O. Box 7, Fall River, 02722. Name of city or town should be included, as well as full dates of all activities. DEADLINE IS NOON ON FRIDAYS. Events published must be of interest and open to our general readership. We do not carry notices .of fund-raising activities, which may be advertised at our regular rates, obtainable from our business office at 508-675-7151. ATTLEBORO - The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, 947 Park Street, is now presenting its annual Festival of Lights until January 2. For more information call 508-222-5410 or visit them on the Web at www.lasalette-shrine.org. BREWSTER - Mass will be celebrated by La Salette Father Richard Lavoie January 5 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road. A healing service will follow. For more information call 508-3853252. BUZZARDS路BAY - As part of Pope John Paul II's call for a Year of the Eucharist, beginning January 7 through October, St. Margaret's Church, 141 Main Street, will host 24-hour exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the first Friday of the month starting after the 8 a.m. Mass and ending with Benediction at 7:45 a.m. Saturday. Anyone wishing to sign up for an evening or night hour of adoration, should call Kitty Leach 508759-7044. FALL RIVER - A holy hour is held every Tuesday from 7-8 . p.m. at Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover Street. It includes recitation of the rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. A prayer meeting consisting of Bible readings and discussion and music follow. For more information call 508-679-6732. FALL RIVER - A Catholic television program entitled "Boa Nova da Vida," will appear on Channel 20 in Portuguese January 5 and 19 at 9:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Communications Department of the diocese, it will be the 18th part of a series called "Christians Ask." FALL RIVER - The lith annual Cathedral Carol Sing will take place Sunday at 3 p.m. at St. Mary's Cathedral, on the comer of Spring and Second streets. All are invited for a community singing of old favorite carols accompanied by organ and trumpet. There will also be traditional Hispanic and Brazilian carols. Ad-
mission is free. MISCELLANEOUS - Any man or woman over 18 years old who would like to ask questions or get information about the priesthood or religious life are invited to an Information Day, Sunday January 9 from 2-4 p.m. at St. Julie Billiart Parish Center, 494 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth. MISCELLANEOUS - A new pregnancy help center called "A Woman's Concern," will soon be opening its doors in the Fall River area. It will provide healthy, life-affirming aSsistance to women and couples in pregnancy distress especially those considering abortion due to lack of support an.d information. Those interested in becoming staff members or volunteers should call BeaMartins at 508-678-3351 or visit online at www.awomansconcem.omt
partners. NORTH DARTMOUTH The Diocesan Divorced-Separated Support Group will hold an open meeting December 27 from 7-9 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 500 Slocum Road. Refreshments will be served. For more information call Bob Menard at 508-673-2997. NORTH EASTON - The public is invited to participate in praying the 20 mysteries of the rosary on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the chapel of the Father Peyton Center at Holy Cross Family Ministries, 58 Washington Street. Daily rosary is recited at 9 a.m. and Mass is celebrated at noon every weekday.
I take the phone from my husband's hands and Snow day! put it back in its cradle. I doze. Are there finer words than these? Especially if My husband's alarm goes off. Why don't you're a child? . you stay home? I suggest. In my wildest The phone awakens me in the early hours, fantasy, I hear him say, "You know, I think I'll several minutes before my alarm. With less than sleep in, and later I'll make snow angels in the six hours of daylight at this, nearly the darkest front yard." But in reality I 'know if he had to time of the year in Anchorage, Alaska, the world hitch our Golden Retriever to a sled, he'd go outside my window is black. . to work. "Mrs. Caldarola, this is Logan. Did you and As he showers and dresses, I fall asleep and Mike know we don't have school today? It's a don't even hear the garage door closing. snow day." Logan and Mike, The phone rings again. r It's Ben. both 16, are carpool "Is Mike there?" mates. "Well, actually, he's I slowly shake away sleeping." the slumber. It was "Everyone" is going to snowing when I went Alyeska, the ski resort to bed, but it takes a about 40 minutes away. lot of snow, or really By Effie Caldarola "Will Mike go?" nasty ice conditions, to L_....;. ~ "What about the slow down our city. road.s?" I mumble into my We haven't had a pillow, thinking of the winding road that runs school snow day since March 2002. between the inlet and the mountains to Alyeska. I tiptoe through the house, turning off alarm . "I'm sure the main roads are fine." clocks, whispering the glad tidings in young ears. "Well, I'll tell him when he wakes up." "Aw-right," my 13-year-old murmurs without Yes, snow doesn't really slow anyone down in opening her eyes. Anchorage. Seven inches at our house, close to How often at bedtime do I hear it spoken two feet on the hillside, but the reason we didn't optimistically, "Maybe tomorrow will be a snow have school was the danger of children walking to day," as a couple of lazy snowflakes meander bus stops from side streets and not enough time to down through a sullen sky? Well, today the snow plow for the earliest buses. fairy has granted that wish. I listen again. Outside, men are laughing, then I climb back into bed. Aw-right. I work at a snowplows rev up. Nature's artwork mustn't clog school, so that means a free day for me as well. those driveways one minute longer. I am sleepless. I don't care. I know I can sleep Finally I make my way to the kitchen. today if I want. r lie in my warm bed, the world Savoring a ste!lming cup of coffee, I light a dark and blanketed and insulated around me, and candle to pray. The bla~k-and-whiteof frosted listen to the silence. tree limbs is silhouetted against gray dawn Way off in the distance I hear a snowplow outside. making its way along a main road. I feel gratitude, the delight of a child fin~jng a The phone rings again. Someone from my prize in the cereal box. I feel the unexpected husband's office, an early bird who comes in largesse of a $20 bill appearing at my feet in a before 7 a.m., is there already. Will the office be closed? No, but some people from the valley north parking lot. "Snow day." Are there finer words than these? of town may be excused from driving in.
----------...,---==--,., For the Journey
The e-Bay images-on-food market
in a screen door. I know you probably are in someone's very rich computer. Speaking of those images, I SEEKONK- Behind-the-ear slapping your side and bemoanLet me know if you are previously reported that in the hearing aids in good working con- ing the fact, as I am, that neither following this. wake of VMGCS' "success" dition and batteries are being col- of us threw an eBay bid on the The reporter (Jim DeFede) eBay has become an auction site lected for our diocesan mission in half-grilled cheese sandwich has been filing regular stories en for other images of Mary on Guaimaca. An audiologist from with the purported image of the route, noting among other other items. When I checked, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Par- Virgin Mary on .it. Hey, sorry, maybe you did! happenings that the iconic halfthese included a Sears mattress, ish will visit the mission in January and conduct a hearing clinic to Still, if more of us had ..-.-.----------r---:=-~-.....the Northern Lights and some office windows. help those with hearing loss. Send had a clue it was going behind-the-ear hearing aids to the . to sell for a mere A good reader atthe Dominican Sisters of St. attention of L. Bredemeier, Our $28,000, I am sure many Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, P.O. more of us would have Mary of the Springs in Box 519, 984 Taunton Avenue, jumped in. But personColumbus, Ohio, called Seekonk, MA 02771. For more in- ally I was put off by the my attention to a classic formation call 401-683-3799. portrait of Mary on sale phony bids of $99.9 million (way over my By Dan Morris on eBay that had been 'D\.UNTON - Members of the Visa limit). doctored to appear that Taunton District Council of the St. As it turns out, a she (Mary, not the Vrncent de Paul Society will attend casino bought it. Interestingly, it sandwich has inspired: reader) was eating a half-grilled Mass January 3 at 7 p.m. at St. is an online casino, so we only - A restaurant owner in cheese sandwich. The last time I Peter's Church with the intention assume it (the casino) is real President George Bush's checked, the bidding had ended of the canonization of Blessed because its image (the casino's) at $4.95 - short of t):Ie required hometown to try to replicate a Frederic Ozanam and in memory appears on the Internet. president's head (any president) minimum bid. of deceased members. The reguIt must have paid real money, on food items. This does not bode well for lar monthly meeting will follow in though, because a reporter from ~ A state trooper who other eBay images-on-food the parish hall. the Miami Herald somehow stopped him for going 80 mph auction items, including the talked the casino into letting him on Interstate 6 in Texas to issue piece of toast with Elvis on it. WESTPORT Mass in drive VMGCS (as the Virgin only a warning ticket, even And for those of you who were . honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich though he thought the image on following the bidding on the is sung each Saturday morning at has come to be known) from its VMGCS "looked like Papa . Pop Tart with the image of Mary 9 a.m. at Our Lady of Grace former owner's home in HollyMurphy." on it, please let me know how Church, 569 Sanford Road. The wood, Fla., to Las Vegas where - People to tell him their things came out, OK? rosary is recited 20 minutes before GoldenPillace.com does not own stories of religious images Comments are welcome. E路 Mass. For more information call exist at all because it is based in on different objects - from the mail Uncle Dan at 508-674-6271. Kahnawake, Canada, probably Virgin on a tree stump to Jesus cnsuncleOl@yahoo.com.
The offbeat world of Uncle Dan
Friday, December 24, 2004
What made the fallen angels' choice 'irrevocable'? Q. My question arises not somehow it involved a grievonly from my own curiosity, ous offense of pride against but from my children. I God. If angels, as Christians realize no one can say believe, have no body or whether or not anyone is in bodily functions and passions hell, since we have no winlike ours, they are simply dow into God's mercy. But I incapable of many of the don't understand this "irreimmoral actions we humans vocable choice" of the angels, are prone to. which the ''Catechism of the This begins to address your Catholic Church" speaks of question about how angelic sin (No. 393). What made it irrevocable? Why' was there no turning back? (Illinois) A. It is Catholic teaching, going back centuries, that some By Father angels sinned against their Creator in such John J. Dietzen a grave way that they lost their presence with God forever. could be irrevocable. One of This belief is rooted most of all in numerous Scriptural the consequences of the angels being pure spirits would be passages, both Old and New that their intelligence and will Testament, such as Satan falling from heaven (Luke functions quite differently 10: 18), being driven from from ours. They would not heaven (Rev 12), and "the seem subject to all the limitations and weaknesses of mind devil and his angels" occupythat afflict human beings, ing a place apart from God, especially considering the where those who reject our consequences of "original sin." Lord's command of love and Whatever our original fault service to neighbor are destined to go (Matt 25:41). may have been exactly (the Apart from this, and that we catechism ~alls it "sin" only in humans enjoy the guardianship an analogical sense), or precisely how it came about, of some angels, we know little the natural limits that our or nothing about details of the human nature places on us are angels' nature and fate. Our worsened by the fact that this information comes almost nature is somehow wounded. entirely from philosophical We are inclined to stumble, reasoning about what pure fall, misjudge and see so many spirits must be like, and from circumstances only partially the - often obscure and darkly. All of us have references in the Scriptures. plenty of personal experience Endless theological guesses of this sightlessness and have tried to identify what frailty. their sin may have been, but As the catechism notes, there is general agreement that
Questions and Answers
quoting Vatican Council II, our weak situation extends even "to the negative influence exerted on people by communal situations and social structures that are the fruit of men's sins." (No. 407; Church in the Modern World, 37) Apparently none of this infirmity and partial blindness would apply to angels. Because of their nature, their intellects not being clouded as ours are, their knowledge would be more immediate and encompassing, their decisions more definitive. They would, so to speak, become aware of nothing "tomorrow" that they didn't know today. In other words, there would be no surprises in the consequences of their rejection of intimate friendship with God, no new insights or wonder to bring them to repentance. It's a most interesting subject that arouses our curiosity, but I believe this is about as far as we can go in speculating about the fall of the angels. The catechism discusses the angels' sin briefly in Nos. 391395.
A free brochu.re in English or Spanish, answering questions Catholics ask about baptism practices and sponsors, is available by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, Box 325, Peoria, IL 61651.
Questions may be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE ARCHDIOCESE of Miami in December declared Our Lady ofthe Holy Rosary in Perrine, Fla., unsafe for occupancy because of a badly leaking roof. The church is less than 10 years old. Also affected are the parish offices and the parish hall, all dedicated in 1995. (eNS photo by John SeVigny, Florida Catholic)
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Eucharistic adoration has, long-term effects, papal preacher asserts By JOHN THAVIS CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE VATICAN CITY) - Eucharistic adoration may seem like a waste of time to beginners, but experience demonstrates that it yields great spiritual gifts, said the preacher of the papal household. "To engage in eucharistic contemplation means, in concrete terms, establishing a heartto-heart contact with Jesus, who is truly present in the host," Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa told Pope John Paul II and top Vatican officials. The preacher began his annual series of Advent sermons for the pope and his aides December 3, saying he would focus on the Eucharist during the current eucharistic year. As a
guide, the papal preacher was using the lines of the traditional Church hymn, "Adora te devote" (I adore you devoutly). Father Cantalamessa said eucharistic adoration and the Mass - contemplation and celebration - should complement each other in the Iives of Catholics. He acknowledged that adoration did not appeal to everyone. "Our Orthodox brothers do not share this aspect of Catholic piety. Some of them note good-naturedly that bread is made to be eaten, not looked at," Father Cantalamessa said. He said the value of eucharistic adoration was not found in theological explanations but in the experience of many, many Catholics who have felt its pro-
found effects. "The only thing the Holy Spirit asks of us is to give of our time, although at first it may seem like wasted time," he said. Just as standing in the sun for an extended period changes the litles of the face, eucharistic adoration works its changes, too, he said. "To stand before the Blessed Sacrament for a long time and with faith, not necessarily with a lot of passion, we assimilate the thoughts and sentiments of Christ, in an intuitive way," he said. In an encyclical last year on the Eucharist, the pope called eucharistic adoration an "inexhaustible source of holiness" and urged local pastors to promote it.
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Trappist monks win praise for tradition ,fruitcake - a Christmlls , .
This year they added ''fraters'' (frater is "brother" in Latin), which are slices of fruitcake dipped in chocolate. Cakes are $25 and a box of fraters is $22. Demand outstrips production, and the staff isn't getting larger or yo~ger. One published ' report says the brothers hope to eventually shift to honey as their main product. The oldest Trappist commumty in the United States is the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Ky. Its monks, too, produce a fabulous fruitcake, .which can be ordered at www.gethsemanifarms.org. The WallStreetJoumalvoted it the "best overall" for quality and value in 1998. The Food Network on cable TV spread the news farther. The secret, according to its bak.J, erst is the Kentucky bourbon that permeates the fruit and nuts. 'The brothers also sell cheese and bourbon fudge and have more than GREG'O'CONNOR, 17, supervises his brother, Scott, left', and Alfio DiMaggio, both 14, 100,000 customers. who were among the Boy Scouts of Troop 327 who erected an outdoor Stations of the Cross The other Trappist powerhouse at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Islip Terrace, N.Y. The service project, which took seven in the fruitcake world is Assumption months to complete, was developed and coordinated by O'Connor in his efforts to achieve Abbey in Ava, Mo. The fruitcake is the rank of Eagle Scout. (CNS photo by G'regory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic) so popular that they no longer even advertise it. Last year they sold 30,000 two-pound fruitcakes steeped , in burgundy and rum. Trappist Brother Chaminade Crabtree from the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Ga., said his monastery ~ntly became involved in fruitcake production as a way to By JONATHAN LUXMOORE ships facing ,young people in "create incomeforour growing e((.CATHOLIC NEWS.SERVI~E ".: president of"the Alliance of P91ish elubs, .also,d~nieq. support~adult life, the planni'ng and, penses" pa.rucularly in the area of,," . . . , health of elder monks".. ., OXFORD, ,E,ng I an d -. A i~g the st,atue and said shs:.had building· of this statue could ''Fruitcakes seemed lik~the logi- Polis.h-Arrie!ican 'C~t~olic said ,.withdrawn a person'al donation easily become an anti-evangeli- :. . cal act," the diocese said in a cal choice when we looked at the he WIll co~tmue bUIldmg a $50 of $500: success ofthe other monasteries "he million statue of Christ in PO" , She said the alliance was December 2003 ·statement. . Ocytko said Bishop Skworc told the Hawaii Catholic HeraM. lan~, despite. op~osition from contesting a lawsuit Ocytko Monks, ofcourse, don't brag. But PolIsh. organIZatIOns and the filed after the alliance blocked had "given his blessing" to the a bank account with. money for statue in 200 I and had reiterhe was quick to add that his monas- CatholIc Church. . ated support while visiting ChiAdam.Ocytko, a ChIcag~- the project. . terymakes"oneofthebestfruitcakes on the market."· based edItor and f?rmer presI- , "Ocytko lost his re-election cago in May 2002. "You can see the kind of sup"The philosophy I have been fol- ?ent of the U. S. p,.lhance of Pol- as alliance president because of port I'm getting from him lowing is to produce a quality cake ,Ish ~lubs who ~s spea!now," said Ocytko, who at a comparatively low price," headmg the project, Said currently edits the PolishBrotherTheoQore Daly said. "I only the statue was meant to '~t a time of serious social and language Kurier Codzienny make about 3,500 fruitcakes a year. c.e~ebrate the 26-year ponI think that the cakes which I maketlficate of Pope John Paul economic crisis, with rising unem- daily and runs a local rahave a characteristic fruit mix in that II. ployment and hardships facing dio station, Polonia 2000. , Bishop Skworc said in I have more cherries and use more "But we're now having young people in adult life, the plana late-November homily raisins and dates and some of the nothing but problems; cakes have a pro~ounced flavor" even the local bishop says ning and building of this statue could that supporters of the .--, he's against it," Ocytko easily become an anti-evangelical statue were "using the Jl told Catholic News Ser- act," the diocese said in a Decem- faith for their own pura -" "vice in a recent telephone ber 2003 statement. poses" and employing o "Z"lrr interview. "various methods, includThe proposed statue of ing pressure and propaChrist the King at Tarnow will' dissatisfaction with the way he ganda." be taller than New York's was handling our finances,"· "This project arouses serious Statue of Liberty when com- Buckner told CNS. doctrinal doubts - the people pleted in 2005. . "If you want to be trusted, behind it are not respecting the Ocytko said paperwork for you have to say openly how essential Christian principle the project was completed in much money you have, where that the faithful should always Percent who believe thebibIJcal story of Christmas is... June and that ground was be- it is and what you'll do with it," think and feel with the Church," ing prepared on Tarnow's St. she said. the bishop said. CHRISTIANS NON..CHRISTlANs Martin Hill. Plans for the statue, which "I've said a formal 'no' He said other Polish-Ameri- will stand atop a center for Pol- many times, so Catholics Hlstol'lcally accurate can groups had donated money ish emigrants, were announced should not get involved or supfor the statue, which gained in 2001. port this initiative in any way," backing from Cardinal Jozef The project was criticized by he said. Thiologicil story written 59 Glemp of Warsaw and other the Diocese of Tarnow, with Ocytko said he raised to Itflrm filth In Juus Polish bishops. Bishop Wiktor Skworc voicing $240,000 for the statue in a .. ..,.-./ However, Les Kuczynski, , disapproval in letters to Polish single .day after a radio appeal. spokesman for the Polish priests working abroad. His associates also had toured Prom ttllPhonlsurvoy at u.s. IlIuIts ,a or olW I*. 2-9, 2004. American Congress, said his or"At a time of serious social Polish communities in Canada, MlIIlII 0' II\'Of II plUl or Il\lnlll J l*Uf\l. ganization was not involved: and economic crisis, with ris- Australia and Latin America to Teresa B. Buckner, vice ing unemployment and hard- collect funds. . ~NlNII~lCf!IlISIlNI» .....~.
HONOLULU (CNS) - The English call'it Christmas cake. Aussies aSk for Celebration cake, but whatever the name, and despite the jokes associated with it, fans buy 21 million fruitcakes a year. ". .... And in reviews for the best fruit", cakes, one name stands out . Trappist. Fruitcake from Trappist mon(l1iteries wins the praises ofgour-' .~ . met food reviewers everywhere. , The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Washington Post daily newspapers and Sunset, Newsday, aJ1d Gounnet magazines all recom.: . mend fruitcake made at Our Lady ,of Guadalupe Monastery in .Lafayette, Ore. . ' '. The Trappists there claim that . , .' their fruitcakes are ''heavy, ri~h cakes ", -'- not so much dough as there are fruit and nuts. The dough itself is rich, not 'cakey' or airy. The fruitcflke contains pineapple, cherries, raisins, California walnuts, honey, pecans, and whole fresh eggs from our neighbor's farm." It's baked for three hours, dipped in brandy, and aged for three months. Reviewers call it rich, nutty, moist and not too sweet. Cake sales provide about 25 percent of the monastery's annual income. A link to Guadalupe Monastery and other Trappist monasteries' can be found on the Internet at . ........ www.monastel).greetings.com; And.although the bakers at ., . Guadalupe work hard, they still, c~-. not supply all the fruitcake Christshoppers demand.:Foitunately; ~ ~ ;: ' other Trappistcommuniiiel' produce , '. their own versiOlis. .' The monks at Holy Cross Abbey . in Berryville; Va., ''unconditionally guarantee that their fruitcake is the best you'll ever eat or cheerfully refund your money." The abbey's Website is www.monastetyfruitcake.org. . The monks' fruitcake businessat . Holy Cross Abbey began when one -, ofthe brothers started making cakes , .for abbey benefactors and friends. In 1985, with income from bread .. sales dropping, the brothers began marketing the fruitcake. They have steadily expanded their production to almost 25,000 cakes annually. ,.......... ~_~_ ..... ~
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Planned $50 ntillion statue of Christ irritates Polish Church.
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Controversial Nativity scene removed by museum after attack By SIMON CALDWELL CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
On December 11, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor of LONDON - A British wax Westminster criticized the wax exhibit that featured soccer star scene in an interview with the David Beckham as St. Joseph and British Broadcasting Corp. "It seems incredible that ChrisBeckham's wife, former Spice Girls singer Victoria Adams, as tianity, particularly Christmas, is Mary, was closed after a vandal displayed in a way that is so tasteless," he told the BBC's Radio 4 attacked it. Staff at Madame Tussauds wax Today program. ''To have a very special part of museum, one of London's most successful tourist attractions, said Christianity depicted in this way the man "extensively damaged" and its most precious symbol, the models of Beckham and which is the coming of God into the world in Jesus Christ, seems Adams. The vandal smashed his fists to me to be not just disrespectful repeatedly into the soft wax faces to Christians, it is also disrespectful to the heritage of Britain and of the models December 12. The display was erected in also does damage to the culture early December after 300 people of this country," the cardinal said. A YOUNG man holds up a figurine of the infant Jesus for blessing by Pope John Paul II were asked in an October poll Later, Cardinal Murphy in'St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. The pope told the faithful that Nativity scel)es are not which celebrities they would most 0' Connor told a British television only part of culture and art, but also a sign of faith in God. Hundreds of children brought like to see in the scene. Museum show that he was glad the Nativtheir Nativity figures to be blessed by the pope. (CNS photo by Alessia Giuliani, Catholic officials said it would not reopen ity scene was removed. ITN because repairs were unlikely to television's Alistair Stewart asked Press Photo) be completed before the sched- the cardinal, "You didn't do it, did you? There's visions of you creepuled closure date of January 3. Other models in the attraction ing in there." Laughing, Cardinal Murphyincluded U.S. President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister O'Connor replied: "I wouldn't like Tony Blair and the Duke of to think that I've incited people to Edinburgh as the Three Wise bash waxworks. But I think it was By CAROL GLATZ "With their look of love, they Men, actors Samuel L. Jackson distasteful, so if you ask am I glad of faith in God who, in BethleCATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE hem, came 'to dwell among us,"~ invite us to keep vigil and pray to and Hugh Grant as shepherds, and it's gone, yes, I think so." VATICAN CITY - The Na- he said路 from his apartment win- welcome the divine Savior who Australian pop star Kylie The vandal fled the museum tivity scene is a cultural and artis- dow to the people gathered in the comes to bring the joy of Christ- Minogue' as an angel. Jesus was before he could be captured. mas to the world," he said. ' tic trademark of Christmas, re- square below. Officials said he waited pa. represented by a plastic doll. The Vatican's life-size flecting faith in a God who came The crowd included hundreds The display was described by tiently behind other visitors until to live among his people, said of children who held aloft Nativ- Christmas creche in the center a Church of England spokesman he was close enough to the Naity scene figures of Jesus for a of St. Peter's Square was still in one British newspaper as a tivity scene to attack the waxPope John Paul II. under construction and hidden "stunt too far." "The Christmas crib is a famil- papal blessing. works. Every year, the pope blesses behind a burlap barrier. Its fiiar and particularly expressive representation of Christmas," he the figurines, which are then nal unveiling was to be on said before reciting the Angelus placed in their cribs on Christmas Christmas Eve. A fir tree more than 100 feet Eve, joining Joseph and Mary, at midday in St. Peter's Square. "It is an element of our culture who are "silent witnesses of a sub- tall was lit December 15 in a special ceremony in the square. and art, but above all it is a sign lime mystery," he said.
Nativity scene is cultural, artistic Christmas trademark? pope says
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A NATIVITY scene in Chicago's Daley Plaza was set up by the Nativity Scene Committee, a private group whose volunteer tradesmen are known as the "God Squad." This Nativity scene, photographed recently, has been a holiday fixture in Daley Plaza since 1985. The pope affirmed the significance of Nativity scenes December 12, saying they are elements of culture and art, but also signs of faith in God. (CNS photo by David V. Kamba, Catholic New World)
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Friday, December 24, 2004
'Surprised by Canon Law' explains basics to Catholics DETROIT - Michael Trueman is a lawyer- but he'll be the frrstto tell you that he doesn't fit the stereotypical mold. He doesn't drive a BMW. He doesn't wear Armani suits. And his life is nothing like ascene from "Law & Order." It has everything to do with his specialty: Trueman is a canon lawyer for the Archdiocese of Detroit. And -just as he's not a typical lawyer - church law is a far cry from civil law. That's why he co-wrote "Surprised by Canon Law," a questionand-answer book designed to help Catholics understand the basics of Church law - which in its raw form entails encyclopedic volumes written in heavy-duty Church language. -..,~ "Christ enlivens the Church with ....1 his presence," he told The Michigan Catholic, newspaper of the Detroit Archdiocese. As an ecclesiastical judge, he makes recommendations and decisions on various matters of Church law for Catholics in the archdiocese. '!By way of analogy, canon law provides the backbone for that presence," said Trueman, who lives in Wmdsor, Ontario, just across the U.S.-Canada borderfrom Detroit. ''It路 helps the Church accomplish its mission by giving it good order and structure." ")1:>0.
make things simple." Here are some of the questions: - ~y do we have a pope and what is the scope of his authority? - ~at can I expect from my pastor? - Maya layperson give a homily.? - ~at is required of a godparent? In all, the book answers 150 of the most basic questions involving canon law. "It's a very helpful introduction," said Father Robert McClory, who is a canonist and chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and who gave approval for the printing of the book. "It opens people up to the wide range of issues that canon law addresses and it shows how it applies to their ongoing lives as Catholics.. "Catholics are naturally curious about the laws of the Church, and it's helpful to have a guide that gives practical answers to questions rooted in our theology," he added. Apparently, lay Catholics across the country agree. Servant Books, recently acquired by St. Anthony Messenger Press, printed 5,000 copies ofthe book. Though the publisher路 will not say how many have been sold, Trueman said the book has been exceeding sales expectations.
JIM CARREY stars in a scene from the movie "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events." (CNS photo from Paramount)
Movie review - 'Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events'
NEW YORK (CNS) - The dec lightfully macabre "Lemony Snicket's A Series. of Unfortunate Events" (paramount) joins the rest of the season's cl).ildren's films that adults can enjoy every bit as much as the tykes. Based on the books ''The Bad Beginning," ''The Reptile Room" and ''The Wide Wmdow" by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler), director Brad Silberling's widescreen adaptation gives Jim Truemansaid~hopeshiswock Carrey a field day embodying varican draw more people to a deeper ous characters with his customary ~mdoesthe~era~Catho& _ know about the ChUrch's legal sys- interestin canon law. The Church is aplomb. in need of canon lawyers - a role' At the center of the story are the tem? ''The question to ask is, 'Does traditionally held by priests that is three Baudelaire children - Violet your average lay Catholic know that now more frequently being filled by (Emily Browning), the l4-year-old inventor; l2-year-old Klaus (Liam there is a Code of Canon Law?'" lay ministers. Trueman became interested in Aiken), the book lover; and Sunny Trueman said. "And the answer would have to be 'no' - they don't canon law while working at a parish (Kara and Shelby Hoffman), the inknow that there is a codified legal in the Archdiocese ofHalifax, Nova' fant with a precocious knack for biting anything and everything. system that is running in the back- Scotia, on Canada's east coast. He said he felt called to a lay voAfter their parents perish in a groumJ of the Church's day-to-day cation, but realized that working at a mysterious fire which destroys their lifie. " . The book- which Trueman co- parish would be difficult while rais- large mansion, the three waifs are wrote with Pete Vere, a former class- ing a family. He had received his first taken by the thick-headed solicitor, . mate and fellow canonist from St. taste of canon law while working Mr. Poe (Tunothy Spall), to live with Paul University in Ottawa - lays with the archdiocesan tribunal in the evil Count Olaf (Carrey), a hammy and transparently villainous out the basics of Church lilw. In Halifax. More information about simple language, it answers questions about the sacraments, Church "Surprised by Canon Law" is structure, the.duties ofCatholics and available on the Website, cataiog.americancatholic.om, or by parishioners'rights. ST. LOUIS (CNS) - A planned ''This was not rocket science," calling St. Anthony Messenger Press Public Broadcasting Service docuTrueman said. ''We took license to customer service at: 800- 488-0488. mentary on nuns who took part in the 1965 civil rights marches in Selma, Ala., will feature several St. Louis women religious who were there. . The one-hour documentary, "Sisters of Selma," is expected to air on P~S nationally in the fall of 2005, the year marking the 40th anniversary of the historic marches. In interviews with the St. Louis Review archdiocesan newspaper, the film's producer and two of the Sisters involved spoke about the documentary and their experiences. The stage for the historic drama was set on "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, when Alabama state troopers brutally attacked blacks with. nightsticks, whips and tear gas to MICHAEL TRUEMAN, ecclesiastical judge in the Archdio- break up their intended 60-mile cese of Detroit, co-wrote the book "Surprised by Canon Law," voting rights march from Selma to to give Catholics down-to-earth answers to questions regard- the state' Capitol in Montgomery. ing Church law. (CNS photo by Joe Kohn, Michigan Catholic) The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
character who cares only for the Laurel and Hardy's "March of the Baudelaires' fortune. Wooden Soldiers," and his imperHe putS them to work scrubbing sonations of a weaselly lab assistant the floors and making dinner for him and an old sea captain in pursuit of and his creepy actor friends, and later the orphans are priceless. tries to kill them by locking them in Streep is a daffy loon, proving a car on 'train tracks. He fails in that again how very fine she can be in wicked plot, and the children are comedy. Connolly is endearingly transferred first to the care ofa kindly sympathetic. The children are perbut eccentric reptile keeper, Uncle fect, right down to the Hoffman Monty (Billy Connolly), aherpetolo- twins as the gurgling Sunny. gist who keeps a "deadly" viper that Rick Heinrichs' production deturns out to be as meek as a pussycat, sign - Boston, by way of Charles and then to dotty Aunt Josephine Dickens and J.K. Rowling, with (Meryl Streep), who harbors a seri- some dollops of Edward Gorey ous, phobia about real ~state agents. is simply spleqdid. .. All of thiS is narrilted in droll fashThe film has an excellent moral ion by the ubiquitous Jude Law; seen ending which wraps things up on a only in silhouette here. Just when high note. And special mention matters threaten to get too scary or should be made ofthe clever Goreyintense, the action stops, and we see like closing credits, which extend the Snicket at the typewriter, figuring out fun to the very last frame. what happens next This device helps This mm contains some mildly keep the film from getting too intense intense situations and a smattering for youngsters. There's also the're- of crude language. The USCCB assuring sense throughout that noth- Office for Film & Broadcasting ing too terrible is really going tohap- classification is A-II - adults and pen to the children. adolescents. The Motion Picture Carrey is a marvel as the dastardly Association of America rating is Olaf, the perfect storybook villain, PG - parental guidance sugrather like mean Uncle Barnaby in gested.
PBS plans documentary on nuns who marched in Selma
asked church leaders from across the nation to join blacks for a second march on March 10, in defiance ofa federal judge's injunction and amid threats of violence. An interfaith delegation of about 50 from St. Louis was the largest outof-state group to participate, and it was asked to lead the march. Seventeen Catholic priests and six women religious working in the arch~ocese were part of the city's contingent. The Sisters -'- the only women in the group - were from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet,' the Sisters of Loretto and the Sisters of St. Mary, now called the Franciscan Sisters of Mary. ' Sister Mary Antona Ebo, a Sister of St. Mary and an AfricanAmerican, helped lead the march with five white nuns. Police stopped them after they had barely begun. ''We didn't walk more than a half a block, but it was a long half-
block," recalled Sister Antona, who is now 80 and a pastoral associate at St. Nicholas Parish in North St. . Louis. Sister Barbara Moore, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet who grew up in St. Louis but was then a nursing supervisor in Kansas City, Mo., marched in Selma later that same week with a group ofreligious leaders from Kansas City. Also African-American, Sister Barbara was only 27 when she marched. Now 66, she is back in St. Louis as a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet leadership team. Ironically, it took a non-Catho. lic to tell the full story of the pivotal role Catholic nuns played in Selma. "Sisters of Selma" producer Jayasri Hart, a Hindu, has been working on the documentary since , 2000. Born in India, she has lived in California for some 20 yearS.
Friday, December 24,2004
Catholic lottery winner distributes funds to support culture of life By GEORGE P. MATYSEK JR: CATHOUC NEWS SERVICE
BALTIMORE - A Catholic woman who won $180 million in the multistate Mega Millions lottery last year put smiles on the faces of a lot of Baltimore-area Catholics when she distributed $240,000 to 10 parishes, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and Cardinal William H. Keeler's Lenten appeal. In a recent ceremony, the winner, Bernadette Gietka, a member of Holy Rosary Parish in Baltimore, and her mother, Catherine Gietka, handed out $10,000 checks from Mary's Fund Foundation, which was fonned a year ago with funds from the lottery winnings. Catherine Gietka, also a Holy Rosary parishioner, is president of the fund. Bernadette Gietka matched the foundation awards with her own $10,000 checks to 10 parishes, the School Sisters and the Lenten appeal. More awards will be made to other organizations that promote the culture of life. "I just know how much less attendance there is in city parishes since people started moving to the suburbs," Bernadette Gietka told The Catholic Review, Baltimore archdiocesan newspaper. 'They're
struggling. They just don't have the amount of money they used to. I thought this would be a way to help them." She said she selected parishes that have connections with her family. The School Sisters were included because she had once considered
becoming a nun and had spent time in the congregation's program for aspirants. "I know the parishes need the money for so many things," she said. "I don't care how they spend it as long as they say at least one prayer to end abortion."
By JOHN THAVIS VATICAN CITY - The Vatican is consolidating plans for the much-anticipated apostolic visitation of U.S. seminaries, viewed by Church officials as a crucial part of the response to the priestly sex abuse scandal. Officials now expect the visitation to begin in the fall of 2005 with the start of the school year, sources in Rome said in December. The Vatican is expected to publish soon an "instrumentum laboris" or working questionnaire that is about three pages long. It will act as an outline for the visits to more than 100 seminaries and .other institutes of formation, which are expected to take several days each. Already, the names of approximately 75 bishops and 100 priests who will carry out the visitations have been submitted and discussed by U.S. and Vatican officials. A facilitator to coordinate U.S.-Vatican contacts also will be chosen. Sometime before the process begins next fall, the Vatican expects to publish a long-awaited and potentially controversial document on whether candidates with homosexual inclinations should be admitted to the priesthood. The document on homosexuality has been in the works for
be no more parish grants, but the foundation will make awards for Pro-Life projects. Contributions are also being accepted to support the foundation, she said. 'The idea is to stop abortion," said Bernadette Gietka, ~ho has kept her job as a part-time postal letter carner. 'That's what's always on my mind 24 hours a day. That's what I was supposed to work on and that's why the foundation was founded." The east Baltimore native said the fund was named after the Blessed Vrrgin Mary. "I think she is the one who is going to accomplish this," she said. "It can't be done without her."
Vatican delegation astonished by cancellation of meeting with Israel
BERNADEnE GIETKA, left, winner,of last year's $180 million Mega Millions lottery in Maryland, and her mother, Catherine Gietka, donated more than $240,000 to 10 parishes, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and Baltimore Cardinal William H. Keeler's Lenten appeal. (CNS photo by Owen Sweeney III, Catholic Review)
Vatican firDls up plans for U.S. seDlinary visitation in 2005 CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
Bernadette Gietka won the jackpot in 2003 three weeks after praying that God would send her the financial tesources to promote the culture of life. Choosing the $112.8 million cash payout, she walked away with $76 million after taxes. Her dream of producing a ProLife musical was put on hold after her mother suffered a heart attack seven months ago. Now that Catherine Gietka is feeling better, her daughter said she will get to work on the musical. Bernadette Gietka said her foundation will also focus heavily on promoting the culture of life. There will
more than five years. An early draft of the document took the position that homosexuals should not be admitted to the priesthood; in its current form, the document takes a more nuanced approach to the whole issue, sources said. The seminary visitation is expected to focus particularly on formation for celibate chastity and on admissions criteria. It was first announced in April 2002, after U.S. bishops and Vatican officials held an urgent meeting to map out a response to the sex abuse crisis. Bishop John C. Nienstedt of New Ulm, Minn., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Priestly Formation, said in an interview in Rome that there were several possible reasons why it has taken more than two and a half years to prepare the seminary visitation. He cited changes in the Congregation for Catholic Education, which is overseeing the visitation; the involvement of several other Vatican agencies; and the fact that "they wanted to do it right," with a clearer and deeper focus on formation programs and the spiritual dimension of seminary life. A key element of the visitation is that any faculty member or student will be allowed to speak with the visitation team about the condition of the seminary" he said. . "I personally think (the visitation) is going to be very helpful. I believe the seminaries today are
not the seminaries they were 30 years ago. And I think that we have advanced tremendously in terms ofteaching methodology, in terms of formation programs, in terms of our spiritual direction," Bishop Nienstedt said. "So I think it's going to be very helpful for us, because I think the results are going to be positive. I also think there are things we can be doing better, and that will become clearer," he said. Bishop Nienstedt said Vatican officials told him to expect the document on homosexuality and priesthood candidates "soon." The document is being prepared by the Congregation for Catholic Education in consultation with several other Vatican agencies, including the doctrinal congregation. In a report earlier this year, the education congregation described it as an "instruction on the criteria and norms for the discernment in questions regarding homosexuality in view of the admission of candidates to the seminary and to sacred orders." Bishop Nienstedt said he expects the issue of homosexuality to be part of the visitation, since human sexuality is so important in terms of personal identity. The last apostolic visitation of U.S. seminaries took place in the 1980s artd covered every aspect of priestly formation programs.
JERUSALEM - Vatican delegation members were astonished when a meeting with the Israeli Foreign Ministry aimed at finalizing taxation issues was canceled hours before the meeting was to take place, said a source close to the delegation. 'The reaction in the Church to the last-minute cancellation on December 15 is astonishment at what appears to be a pattern of last-minute, unilateral cancellations by Israel of crucially important meetings," said a Catholic source close to the Vatican delegation. No reason was given for the cancellation, he said. The source said there were to be two meetings, one to 'finalize the taxation question and a follow-up to . discuss the implementation process ofthe hoped-for agreement. The second meeting remained scheduled but the source said he was unsure what would be discussed. The Vatican delegation has begun to feel the need for a change in the . level of Israeli representation at the meetings because the people who have been attending the meetings are "low-level functionaries with no authority to negotiate," said the source. The tax issues are important for the Church but trivial for Israel, he ..said. In November, the delegations met briefly on the topic, and at the time
Israeli Franciscan Father David Jaeger, an expert on Church-state relations in Israel, told Catholic News Service that settling the issue was a matter of "survival of the Church." He said that the Church's tax status was one of the issues to be resolved according to the Fundamental Agreement signed by the Holy See and Israel in December 1993. Municipal laws in Israel require areligious institution to pay one-third of its property taxes to the local municipality. "Monasteries are largely built on areas with relatively few residents, with no income but donations," and thus are not in a position to pay property taxes, said Father Jaeger. If the institutions are forced to pay the taxes, he said, a number ofchurches and monasteries would have to close, "and that would diminish the presence of the Church (in the Holy Land)." The Greek Orthodox Church is one of the largest landholders in Jerusalem. Among its land is the property where the Israeli Parliament now sits, but since the municipal property tax is paid by the occupant, the change in the municipal law does not affect the Greek Orthodox Church in the same way. Other Christian churches are closely following the Vatican-Israeli negotiations, he said.
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2283 ACUSHNET AVE:NUE NEW BEDFORD PRACTICE THE DEVOTION OF THE FIRST SATURDAYS, AS REQUESTED BY OUR LADY OF FATIMA
On December 10, 1925, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucia (seer of Fatima) and spoke these words: "Announce in my
name that I promise to assist at the hour ofdeath with the graces necessary for the salvation oftheir souls, all those who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall: 1. Go to.confession; 2. Receive Holy Communion; 3. Recite the Rosary (5 decades); and 4. Keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries ofthe Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." In a spirit of reparation, the above conditions are each to be preceded by the words: "In reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary." Confessions may be made during 8 days before or after the first Saturday, and Holy Communion may be received at either the morning or evening Mass on the first Saturday.
Friday, December 24, 2004
Archbishop urges new efforts to restore North
Ireland government By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE MAYNOOTH, Ireland - Following the' collapse of political talks to restore a power-sharing government in Northern Irel;md, a prominent Irish archbishop has called on all parties to renew efforts to complete what might be th 7 final stage of the peace process. "I believe that the progress which has been made to date is extraordinary," said Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland. "That progress shows that the parties are a~le and willing to work together. B,ut the breakdown just short(of the ,finishing line is gis.appointing. IHells us that more trust h~t()..be built. "The lesson may be, in all of this, that all parties who intend to go into government together need not only to talk, but to listen to each other. Otherwise their governing will not be as effective as it might be and will not necessarily be for the good of all the people," the archbishop said in a statement released last week by . the Catholic Communications , Office in Maynooth. On December 8, officials of the British and Irish governments announced that talks on restoring the power-sharing government had stalled over whether an official photographer could take pictures of the outlawed Irish Republican Army destroying its weapons. The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, the Rev. Ian Paisley, said photographs are needed to prove that the IRA's campaign of war against the British state is , finally 'completed. Officials of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, said the Protestant clergyman is seeking to humiliate their organization and its predominantly Catholic supporters. For
decades, the Irish Republican Army has been fighting to reunite Northern Ire.1and with the Irish Republic. . Rev. Paisley has refused to accept an IRA proposal to have the destruction of its remaining stockpiles of weapons witnessed by retired Canadian Gen. John de Chastelain, head of the decommissioning commission, and two clergymen, one Protestant and one Catholic. Archbishop Brady, primate of all Ireland, said the request for photographs "is really a request for greater clarity and certainty about decommissioning. The question is, if photographs are impossible, what is possible to provide the certainty required?" He also said members of Sinn Fein, the political party to which most IRA members belong, should be "treated seriously as partners in government." "Right now we all need to do and say the things that make for peace," Archbishop Brady's statement said. "Something that is seen as humiliation is not likely to help people to work effectively and peacefully together in partnership in government. Humiliation is one thing, humility is something else; humility is built on truth." The archbishop suggested that all sides in the decades-old conflict take responsibility for the past. "If we cannot go the extra mile, let's try to go the extra - perhaps even the final - step. Humility, yes, humiliation, no," he said. Northern Ireland's power-sharing government was established under terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. However, it has been suspended several times, including one in 2001 over the issue of the Irish Republican Army's failure to disarm..
KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS at St. Louis Academy in Caledonia, Wis., practice 'making the sign of the cross with Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee recently. The archbishop celebrated Mass for students, faculty and parents, blessed a sign at the school's entrance, then visited with students. Pictured with the archbishop are, from left, Lincoln Bargender, George Meyer, Andrew Krivsky and Cole Anderson. (CNS photo by Sam Lucero, Catholic Herald)
IRAQI FOREIGN Minister Hoshyar Zebari meets with Pope John Paull! in a private audience at the Vatican December 13. The foreign minister pledged that Iraq's new government would promote full religious freedom and defend the rights of Christians. (CNS photo from L'Osservatore Romano) .
Iraqi foreign minister says government will promote, defend religious freedom By CINDY WOODEN CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE VATICAN CITY - Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari thanked Pope John Paul II for the help he always has given the Iraqi people, and he pledged that the country's new government would promote full religious freedom. The foreign minister met Pope John Paul II last week, exactly one year after U.S. troops captured Saddam" Hussein and less than a week after an Armenian Catholic Church ~d a Chaldean Catholic bishop's residence were damaged in an attack by armed men. . Zebari also met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state. "In'the course of the meetings, the situations currently existing in Iraq and in the Middle East in general were reviewed," said a state-' ment from Joaquin Navarro-Valls,
the Vatican spokesman. Zebari, he said, assured the pope of "the commitment of his government to promote religious freedom and, particularly, the defense of the Christian communities." Navarro-Valls said, "The painful plague of terrorism" was condemned during the meetings. The ongoing fighting in Iraq has included daily terrorist attacks on civilian targets as well as on U.S. and coalition forces. In additiOl'l'to the recent 'attacks on Catholic targets, five Christian churches in Baghdad were struck in mid-October, and five Catholic churches were the targets of bombings in August. Fides, the Vatican's missionary news agency, published an interview with Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk. The archbishop said he and other religious leaders have asked their
faithful to focus on prayers for peace and security at Christmas, rather than hosting parties and receptions. ''We are preparing for the birth ofthe Lord," Archbishop Sako said. ''We will pray and hope that this is a Christmas of peace and love, but there is still much pain in our community and there will not be great festi vities. "Many families have lost relatives or children because of the activity of fu.ndam~l!t.ali~t groups or in tl1e attacks on the churches of Mosul and Baghdad," he said. With the ongoing mourning and suffering, he said, it did not seem right to celebrate Christmas with the customary parties. In addition, he said, most Iraqi Muslims could not have big feasts for the end during November of Ramadan, the month of fasting, so giving up the Christian parties is also an act of solidarity.
Hostility to religious references weakens values ROME- The growing hostility to public religious references in Europe is not a sign of tolerance, but a weakening of the religious-based values that guarantee tolerance and the rights of all, said U.S. scholar and author George Weigel. "Europe's dwindling numbers of Christians know why they must engage the convictions of others with respect and why they must defend the other's freedom: because it is their Christian obligation to do so," he said recently at a lecture in Rome. On the other hand, he said, those pushing a strictly secular vision ofEurope have only a weak, ungrounded pledge of tolerance to support their convictions. , His lecture at Rome's Gregorian University focused on religion and politics in Europe and the United States, the topic of his book, 'The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America and Politics Without God," which will be published in the spring. Responding to questions after the lecture, Weigel said that by ignoring the Christian roots of the continent the framers of the new European Constitution are attempting "to establish the state as 'church' in the name of pluralism." . ''What space there is for Christian convictions in Europe is essentially private space," he said. "It is true, unfortunately, that European political leaders are un- . comfortable talking about the religious background of their moral convictions."
He told his audience, "if75,000 people in Ohio had voted differently" in the U.S. elections and Sen. John F. Kerry had won, "it would have been the acceleration of the 'Europe-izatio~' of America," a phenomenon that already has begun in Canada. In his speech, Weigel said many Europeans view the public invocations of faith made by President George W. Bush and other U.S. political leaders "as evidence of fanaticism, xenophobia and aggression" and ignore "the danger that dare not be named: the Islarnist threat now inside Europe's house." Weigel said the clearest sign of the religious, moral and cultural crisis in Western Europe is its declining birthrate. It is too simplistic to say "Europe has stopped reproducing itSelf because Europeans have stopped going to Church," he said. "But the failure to create the human future in the most elemental sense - by creating a successor generation - is surely also an expression of a broader failure: a failure of self-confidence. 'That broader failure is no less surely tied to a collapse of faith in the God of the Bible. For when God goes, so does God's first command: 'Be fruitful and multiply,'" he said. Weigel said 18 European countries report more deaths than births each year. "It is unprecedented in history for a healthy, wealthy secure society to stop reproducing," he said.
Friday, December 24, 2004
Continued from page one
never before, and all of creation was lifted up and, sanctified by God's glorious presence on earth. This presence of God was revealed at the birth of Jesus, whom we ho~or and praise at Christmas. The mystery of Christmas, though, is deepened by the fact that God came among us, not in some spectacular display of His divinity, but rather in the form of a little child, a vulnerable, defenseless baby, born out in the cold, in the poverty of a m~llger. His poor, but hViJ uifrh showed the depths ofGod's desire to come close to us, and to live with us. His birth, announced by the angels, gave a thrill of hope that made a weary world rejoice. And so, when we contemplate that Baby in the manger, we fall on our knees in adoration, and the soul feels its worth. But, as we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we are painfully aware that the world is still in need of the peace that the Christ Child came to bring. VVe must remember that, ifthere is still evil and suffering in the
world, so long after the birth of Our Savior, it is only because there are still hearts who have not believed in Him and followed His path of peace. IT there is still darkness and fear and pain in our world, it is because we have not yet brought others to the light that shines in the darkness. So, as we celebrate the great Solemnity of Christmas, let us renew our wonder at the mystery of the Incarnation, and let all within us praise God's holy name. Let us honor that Divine Baby, born out in the cold, by converting our lives . more to Him, and by begging Him for a share ofHis holiness and love in our own hearts. And let us be resolved to bring others to Christ, so that the world will become a brighter, more peaceful place. May the joy of Christ's birth reign in your hearts this Christmas! Sincerely yours in the Lord,
,Bishop of Fall River
HOLY CROSS Father Edward Malloy, outgoing president of the University of Notre Dame, answers questions during a December 13 press conference announcing Charlie Weis as its new head football coach. Weis will replace Tyrone Willingham, who was fired after his team ended its season with a 6-5 record. His firing was criticized by Father Malloy, who said the action was not in line with university precedent of giving coaches. five season'!:Pl@lpro~ themselves. (CNS photo by Michael Bennett, Lighthouse Imaging)
Notre Dame replaces fired coach; university presi'dent opposed firing SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNS) The University of Notre Dame announced Charlie Weis as its new head football coach to replace' Tyrone Willingham, who was fired after his team ended its season with a 6-5 record. Weis is an offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots professional football team and a 1978 graduate of Notre Dame. Willingham, who had an overall record of 21-15, had the shortest tenure ofany Notre Dame coach in 70 years; it was his third season with the team. He has announced he will coach at the University of Washington in Seattle. His firing was criticized by the university's outgoing president, Holy Cross Father Edward Malloy, who said the action was not in line with university precedent of giving coaches five sea-
sons to prove themselves. During a sports forum in New York, Father Malloy said that in his 18 years at the helm of the University of Notre Dame the only days he had been embarrassed to be its president were the days immediately following the announcement of Willingham's November 30 firing by school administrators. According to aNew York Times account of his address, Father Malloy, who will retire in July, expressed concern over a growing trend ofschools searching for "messiah coaches." 'The philosophical shift we have taken is a significant one," he said. "I'm not happy about it, and I do not assume responsibility for it. I think it was the wrong move." The paper reported that the priest's remarks received an ovation at the sports forum. The University
of Notre Dame responded with a statement saying the Willingham decision had caused "debate and disagreement as there often is with any major decision at an academic institution." Notre Dame's firing of Willingham, the university's first black coach for a major sport, also drew criticism from the Black Coaches Association. After firing Willingham, the school tried to get Urban Meyer who had led the University of Utah with an 11-0 season, but Meyer took a coaching position at the University of Florida. Weis, who never played college football and has never been a head coach, agreed to a six-year contract with Notre Dame and a reported $2 million annual salary. He will remain with the Patriots through the end of their season.
Lebanese C~tholic leaders urge Christians, Muslims to seek peace By DOREEN ASI RAAD CAT1iOUC NEWS SERVICE BEIRUT, Lebanon - Catholic leaders meeting in Lebanon urged Christians and Muslims to use their faith to promote peace. Arab Muslims and Christians are "in the same boat, facing the same threats," said the Assembly ofCatholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon in a statement released at the end ofits annual meeting, held last week in Bkerke, headquarter"s of the Maronite Catholic Church. "We all must nourish ourselves with our faith for a brighter ,future for the new generation and to achieve justice and peace in our beloved Middle East. This is the key to peace for the entire world," the statement said. The patriarchs invited all their parishes in Lebanon and throughout the world "to participate in the Year
of the Eucharist" declared by Pope and corruption within the Lebanese John Paul II. government are constant sources of The patriarchs also called on anxiety to the Lebanese, the stateLebanese citizens "to work in soli- mentsaid. darity" to solveLebanon's problems, Currently, about 17,000 Syrian in particular its economic crisis, high troops and an intelligence force are unemployment and a "brain drain" stationed in Lebanon. A Syrian-maresulting from emigration. neuvered constitutional amendment Lebanon currently has a national in September was responsible for the debt of approximately $40 billion. extension of Lebanese President 'The Lebanese should unify and . Emile Lahoud's term in November. work together as one society to pass Christians represent about 40 perthrough this hard time," the patri- cent of Lebanon's approximate population of 3.8 million people. archs said. The Assembly ofCatholic PatriIn aseparate statement, the Council ofMaronite Bishops called atten- archs and Bishops in Lebanon was tion to Lebanon's economic crisis, formed in 1972. The assembly insaying that poverty was tightening cludes Cardinal Nasral1ah P. Sfeir, its grip around the Lebanese people. Maronite patriarch; Melkite Patri"Nothing, so far, shows that those arch Gregoire ill Laham; and Armein charge are serious about working nian Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX to alleviate the people's distress," the Tarmouni. Its next meeting is scheduled for council said in its statement. Lebanon's occupation by Syria November 2005.
STUDENTS FROM St. Margaret Regional School, Buzzards Bay, wear new sneakers they received from the New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. in memory of Paul Heffernan. Sneakers were distributed to each student at the school.
THE ST. MARY'S Women's Guild of North Attleboro, awarded a$1 ,000 scholarship to Bishop Feehan freshman Christopher Velandre for winning a recent essay contest on Catholic education. Pictured with Velandre are his parents Charles and Julie and Father James Fitzpatrick, pastor of St. Mary's, North Attleboro.
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CHEERLEADERS FROM Bishop Feehan High School, Attleboro, were all smiles after capturing the 2004 Eastern Athletic Conference Championship at Bridgewater-Raynham High School. They are coached by Lisa Tetreault a~d Jillian Hardy.
SENIORS BRIAN Quintin and Dominic DeMello of-Bishop Stang High School, North Dartmouth, were congratulated by academic principal Mary Ann Miskel upon being named Commended Students in the 2005 National Merit Scholarship Program. They placed in the top five percent of more than one million students. .
SEVENTH-GRADERS from St. Mary's School; New Bedford, display certificates they earned in the school's annual National Geographic Society Geography Bee. It was organized by history teacher Dennis Malloy and was open to students in grades four-eight. At right are runner-up Erica Manny and school champion Molly Couto. .
Friday, December 24, 2004
A look back at the music of 2004 By CHARLIE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
What most surprised you about approach is more subtle than the so-called Christian "praise" bands. the music of 2004? Switchfoot's release "Meant to For me, it was the influence of the "American Idol" series. This Live" invited listeners to evaluate how they are developing the TV bonanza has had a huge passion and abilities that God put influence on pop/rock. Over the in their souls. ' course of the past year I wrote I like Los Lonely Boys just about seven chart hits that had "American Idol" connections. because they are fun. Their West Texas sound mixes blues, rock and , First was "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken's hit country, all served up with a south"Invisible." That song prompted a column about appropriate ways to get someone's attention. Aiken O,.,~ ....11. also had the single "Solitaire" on the 2004 charts. Ruben Studdard, an American Idol winner, debuted on the chart with his "Sorry 2004," a song that gave poor advice on how to apologize when you've hurt someone. Summer 2004 brought us "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino and runner up Diana Deganno. They followed up their TV perfonnances with chart hits of the show's theme songs, Barrino with "I Believe" and Deganno of-the-border flavor. They even got with "Dreams." Both songs us thinking about other-world emphasize the inner intent and realities with their big hit ongoing faith needed to make "Heaven." sought-after goals a reality. Here are some other hit songs And then Kelly Clarkson, winner of the first "American Idol" with good messages from 2004. Five for Fighting's "One contest, returned to the charts with "Breakaway," a song about making Hundred Years" discussed how quickly life passes. The song changes when we sense our lives emphasized making this day count. are mired in routine. '''Live Like You Were Dying," Of course "American Idol" the megahit by country star Tun stars were not the only ones McGraw, was inspired by influencing pop/rock during this McGraw witnessing his father's year. illness and death. McGraw asked I thought the hits from us to make sure we are really Switchfoot and Los Lonely Boys living and not just passing the were especially noteworthy. precious gift of time. Switchfoot sings about the I am not a fan of Christian challenges of 21 st-century life from a Christian perspective. Their "praise" bands, but I thought
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HERBERT SSEBUNYA, a 13-year-old orphan from the Nsambya Home Care facility in Uganda, created this artwork that is in an exhibit depicting experiences of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. (CNS photo from Catholic Relief Services)
Catholic Relief Services sponsors touring exhibit on AIDS orphans CHICAGO (CNS) - An exhibit featuring the experiences of children orphaned by the HIV/ AIDS pandemic opened in Chicago in early December and will remain there until the end of the month before moving on to Baltimore and other U.S. cities through 2005 and into 2006. The free exhibit, "The Children Left Behind: AIDS Orphans Around the World," is sponsored by Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' overseas relief and development agency. It contains several panels
anchored by an opening panel that features children's stories from six countries - South Africa, Uganda, Guatemala, India, Cambodia and the United States. Exhibit elements include a video monitor display, an artifact display case, and an interactive station that allows visitors to share personal expressions with the children through CRS and its partners in countries around the world. The display includes drawings created by AIDS orphans themselves.
''Here With Me" by Mercy Me offered more than the usual praise approach. "Here With Me" asks us to consider how mindful we are of God's presence and what we regularly do to foster this awareness. A year ago a reader clued me into Josh Groban's music. That his style even makes the Top 100 demonstrates how diverse this countdown has become. His "You Raise Me Up" spoke of the power o~friendship and what a good friend does. My favorite song of the year shows my preference for groups I popular in my youth. I was a huge Foreigner fan when they had their first hit in 1977, so any remake of their work is likely to interest me. Their classic "I Want to Know What Love Is" was a hit again in a new release by Wynonna. The song prompts us to ask, What difference is my love making for God's family on this planet? This question has local. answers in how we treat our own family and global answers in how we care for suffering brothers and sisters around the world. Your willingness to demonstrate "what love is" can make a difference for many in the year ahead. So another year of songs have helped us think about how to live as disciples of the one whose birth we celebrate each December. As this year closes, I especially want to thank all who sent me suggestions and criticisms. They help make this column part of a dialogue on discipleship. Your comments are always,
welcome. Please write to me at: .email@example.com or at 7125W 2005, Rockport, IN 47635.
My first-ever New Year's resolutions (that will be kept!) By KAREN DIETLEIN CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE Ah, New Year's: For many people that means Dick Clark, a bit of bubbly, a kiss at midnight and a few resolutions that they'll most likely pitch out the window come January 4. I already know what mine 'are: to lose weight, to procrastinate less and to take in more good literature. Right now, those are reasonable tasks; in twomonths' time, however, they'll be insurmountable craggy peaks the size of Mount Everest. This happens to practically everyone. In January, a friend vowed to quit smoking, but the end of February found her back on a two-pack-a-day habit. Another wanted to run five miles a day. By March, she didn't even want to look at a
treadmill. A third joined Weight Watchers with me, but by the first spring thaw both of us were back at the Ben & Jerry's downtown, snarfing down hot fudge sundaes. Yup. Watching me make my New Year's resolutions is like watching footage of the Titanic sailing out of the harbor that pretty spring morning; all the best intentions in the world can't save that ship from sinking. The pattern is laughable. Listen to one of the late-night talk show hosts sometime this week, and you'll hear the same thing. They love to make fun of the fact that we attempt to come out of the holiday hoopla with brand-new healthy habits only actually to emerge from the effort wearing the same rumpled behaviors we were engaging in
three Novembers ago. It can get pretty disappointing. For me, this year will be different. I'm going to see my New Year's resolution in a different light. I'm going to
Age tackle my promises like poet Shel Silverstein's tiny Melinda Mae, who "ate a monstrous whale." See, "she thought she could, she said she would, so she started in right at the tail." Here are three little things I'm going to do to make this
year the first year that I actually keep my New Year's resolutions - to show myself, David Letterman and the annals of history that, yes, I thought I could, and I 'said I would: -I'll make smaller resolutions first, and space them out over the year: It's "starting with the tail," so to speak. Instead of resolving to "lose weight," I'll make the commitment to "lose 10 pounds by the end of February." At the beginning of March, I'll have achieved my goal, and I'll feel good about making a new resolution to carry that progress into April. -I'll take baby steps: As a chronic overachiever, when I set my mind to do something I want it done "right now," even if it's a task that could take up to a year to complete. Remember my
friend who wanted to run five miles a day? She started off the next year with a half-mile every morning, then one mile, then two miles - and before she knew it, she was pounding out five miles a day. The only way to eat a whale, after all, is slowly, and one bite at a time. -I won't kick myself, either: As a card-carrying human being, I'm liable to slip up sometimes and eat too much chocolate or make another mistake. But all I have to do is pick myself up, dust myself off and get back in the race - no guilt required. I hope that next year I'll be able to come through the holiday season living proof that New Year's resolutions aren't just fodder for a late-show Top 10 list - or for Melinda Mae, for that matter.
A childo~peace.gives hope ~o.the poor
Stones fqr Christmas from the MIssIons
For the two:thirds of the world's population in all children regardless of faith, have become an esthe Missions, Christmas Day is like any other day- sential tool for evangelization. The children learn filled with hunger, life-threatening illnesse~, war, about the"infinite love Jesus has for them. They then go home, spreading the news to their parents! One great suffering. In Sudan, where the children have known noth- non-Christian fantily, whose child attended the school, ing but war and mass-killings, thousands die every sought out the local catechist. By bicycle, he traveled day of preventable or curable diseases or as a re- to their home almost daily and instructed them in the . suIt of violence suffered during attacks on villages faith. All five members of the family received the or camps: Salesian Sis~er Teresa gives the orphaned greatest gift of all when they were baptized and re...... children food, shelter and clothing. However, her ceived the.Eucharist one Chr.istmas morning." A retired archbishop in Indonesia has also witgreatest gift to them is her loving service, a witness to the love that Jesus has for each child. Sister Teresa nessed the joy of the newly baptized. "Indescribable says, "They may not have peace in their surround~ joy and happiness was the joy and happiness on the ~'. . '.:'"1 ings, but I want to try to give them peace in their faces of the newly baptized, but also in the hearts of hearts. I teIl them of an infant, much like them- the missionaries who saw their work ~ewarded by the ::. '. selves,whose'family was forced to flee with His strength of the Holy Spirit," said Archbishop Jacobus . t'. parents from their hometown.-I tell them that God's Duivenvoorde, MSC of Merauke, Indonesia, speaklove overcomes all fear. Some of the little ones want ing' about the baptism of a class of Sunday school to hear that story every day." children. "The children," he continued, "gather for "'""-.. In Gulli in northern Uganda, 69 percent of the catechetical instruction, but also have other needs :;: deaths are connected to HIV/AIDS :- three times fulfilled. They are fed, clothed and given medical more than the number who have perished in the check-ups." Archbishop Duivenvoorde stresses, "It fighting that has gone on fori 8 years. At St. Mary's is through the generous support of prayers and finanI .... Hospital in Gulu, health care.is provided for the cial help from the Society for the Propagation of the poorest of the poor. The Sisters who run.the hospi- Faith that we are able to reach out with the 'good tal say that nearly 64 percent of the patients at the news' of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to teach so many Po ." hospital and at health care centers are children un- of his great love." . This Christmas, won't you give a gift, through the der the age of six. In the past 15 years, the Sisters have treated an extraordinary 2.5 million patients: Propagation ofthe Faith, so that Sisters in Sudan and Said one Sister: ''There are many-patients, of course, Uganda, and catechists in Tanzania and Indonesia, .'" for whom treatment is too late. All we can do is to and so many throughout the Missions may continue 'A CHILD makes his way to the local mission church'on care for them and to love them. We tell them.that ·to reach out with the love of Christ to young and old? . Christmas morning, which is during the rainy season in Mada- there is a God who loved them so mu'ch that he was By supporting their work and witness you will, in fact, gascar, making roads impenetrable. The.lad is learning about born as a man so that he could die for their sins. be making a difference for the suffering poor of the Many of them are baptize9and die with hope in· . Missions, Offering them the hope-filled "Good News" .Je.sus from'a.volunteer catechist. (Propagc;ition of the Faith) their hearts of a better life afterwards.'" proclaimed by the angel that first Christmas, "a sav~.' .:,.-' . ", part of Africa, Fatner George Mhruza ior has been born for'you." . ,.,.,.<. " . In another , .. ... > ". o,Lth~ Diocese-of Tanga ~n T~zaniar~la!es~how 'This Christmas,' too, ·let .us -join in. prayer' with ~. . ·"·.'.;:·~Th~fAnchor:Wnl.· ~atebQists hav.~ brought,the'story of the:Redeemer Catholics worldwide in gratitude for the greatest of ...' fa the remotest areas.of his dibc.ese:-'~Some of IUs:' gifts 'to' u's,hi"s Son. iii iJrayer, we'"also ask- the ~. . . , :: 9utstations are as faraway. as 60 kilometers from Lor~to keep us·.always in his care>and to offer his' ~ . " ". the main parish. The parish priest can celebrate light, hope and peace to a world so in need of him. ~December .. 'Mass iirtliese locations only,once a mcmth.. '. . Thank you and may the Lordgraht to you and to those . . Pre-kindergarten" and primary schools, open to you love many blessings this Christmas: ..r
will return to your ,110mes
R'ome: pontifical university offers priests ir:t-depth'course on Satanism
:.on January 7, 2005.
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By CAROL·GLATZ ~AT1iOLIC N~s S E R V I C E "
Two ltiJian priests with extensive experience'in exorcism'will give their personal accounts o("liberROME - Recent episodes of occult-based vio- ating" people who have been possessed by the devil. Climati emphasized that the course is not a "howlence in Italy. have prompted a pontifical university in Rome to offer .an intensive study course on to" training seminar in exorcism. ' Satanism and demonic possession. . . "Bishops are in charge of saying who can carry.The Regina Apostolorum univ~rsity said in a re~ out an exorcism. We just want to let priests know .cent statement that media reports of Satanic activity .about this phenomenon and what it involves," he said. , should b.eseen as "an alarm bell" alerting people "i:oPope John Paul IT frequently has warned that the take seriously a problem that is still too underesti- . devil is a concrete reality who still exerts his influ. e n c e in modem times. ' . mated." . ~ In June, the bodies of two italian teen-agers-were An'increased interest in worshipping Satan has . found in a makeshift grave outside Milan. Police said been spawned in part by the media, said Climati. ~eir deaths were ~ed to a gruesome, drug"fueled ''The problem is that today Satanism has multiSatanic ritual.· . : media coverage. It is on the Internet, in music, in ."There haS bee~ an increased interest in Sataiiism,' film, and kids then are easily attracted to it," he said.' especially among young people," said Carlo Climati, Another challenge, Climati said, is that Satanic a university spokesman and one of the profes~ors of activityt~yis cl,lIried out by small, informal groups .of people.. . the course'on Satanism. . "No longer is it part of sects which police able . ''The goal of this coUrse will be to prepare priests to be able to dialogue with youth" and to help young to check on," he said. people look at the occult with caution, he told Catho"Now it's a homespun, more personal kind of lie News Service. Satanism practiced by a small group of three or four Starting iIi February, priests mid advanced theal-people," he said. This makes it more difficult-for auogy students will be able to take part in a three~month thorities to be aware of trouble brewing, he added. course titled "Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation." Climati said the Church can do much in remind,Nearly a dozen experts have been invited.~o give .ing parents ofthe irnportance ofcommunicating with talks on everything from demonology in world cul- their children. "Parents need to look their kids in the eyes and . tures, biblical accounts of angels and demons; rriedical andjuridical aspects of demonic possession and talk to them, not in a negative way, but in a way that aribverview of exorcism. creates real dialogue," he said.
The Anchor StafT wishes'· all our reaclers a blessed and merry Christmas, and It' happy, healthy, and holy new year.
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