Diocese of Fall River
Thursday , December 24, 2009
The manger reveals to us the true meaning of Christmas Christmas 2009 Dear Friends in Christ, “She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7). As we celebrate Christmas, we return in meditation and prayer to the familiar scene of the manger in Bethlehem. Once again this year, the Lord invites us to gather around him along with Mary and Joseph, the rugged shepherds and the heavenly choir of angels. In the joy and peace of this holy day, we join people throughout the world who come with us to see and wor-
Bishop George W. Coleman ship the newborn Son of God. In his birth, our Lord becomes an infant to share our weakness and poverty. He sleeps not in a warm palace bedroom, but only on a bed of hay. He suffers the cold of night in a drafty stable. He shares his space with the cow, the donkey, and a small flock of sheep. During the current economic distress, Christmas reminds us that God knows our suffering; because, he has experienced it himself. He knows the hardships of the homeless, the temporary shelter of the soldier deployed to a foreign country, and the discomfort of the patient in a hospital bed. Jesus’ humble manger serves to make these holy. As Mary’s firstborn son, Christ enters the world as its light. He fulfills all the prophecies and all the
promises contained in the history of salvation. He answers the hopes and desires of men and women who found themselves walking in darkness, who had grown tired under life’s burdens, who were longing for freedom from their fears and anxieties. When God takes for himself the visible image of man, he reveals to us and restores us to his own image. He has created us in his image and likeness; but we have distorted and injured that image through sin. For the same reason, we also remain forgetful of and fail to appreciate our likeness to him. His birth, however, reminds us of our origin, renews us, and reconciles us to himself. This final consideration about the birth of Christ remains: He gives himself to us as a sacrament. By being born among us in time, he points to our destiny. He comes to share his Spirit and to live with us here and now, so that we can live with him in heaven for all eternity. So as we take some moments to ponder the meaning of the manger, we discover that Christmas is not about the pageantry, the holiday advertisements, how much we spend, or how many gifts we can pile up under the tree. It’s about the Son of God made man and the joyful announcement of his birth to the entire world. This Christmas the whole Church will gather around the altar to remember the birth of Jesus by hearing the Word of God, by singing sacred songs, and by receiving holy Communion. In faith and prayer, we will join our family, friends, and neighbors in celebration. We will ask God to bless the world and each other with the love that was born in Bethlehem this day. With prayerful wishes that you and your families experience the abundant blessings and love of the Christ Child this Christmas, I remain Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Bishop of Fall River
News From the Vatican
December 24, 2009
Laws are just only if they protect human life, pope says VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A law is just only if it protects human life, Pope Benedict XVI said. The only laws that can be considered just “are those laws that safeguard the sacredness of human life and reject the acceptance of abortion, euthanasia and unrestrained genetic experiments (and) those laws that respect the dignity of marriage between one man and one woman,” the pope said December 16 during his weekly general audience at the Vatican. Pope Benedict dedicated his audience talk to the writings of the 12th-century British philosopher and theologian, John of Salisbury. A close associate of St. Thomas Becket, John went into exile with him when, as the pope said, King Henry II tried “to affirm his authority over the internal life of the Church, limiting its freedom.” John of Salisbury recognized the limits of human reason, given the fact that human beings are finite, but he insisted that through the use of reason, people can come to understand that certain actions are always right or always wrong and that human laws must reflect natural law in order to promote the common good, the pope said. “John’s insights are most timely today in light of the threats to human life and dignity posed by legislation inspired more by the ‘dictatorship of relativism’ than by the sober use of right reason and concern for the principles of truth and justice inscribed in the natural law,” he said. In addition to protecting the
sacredness of human life and the dignity of marriage, Pope Benedict said just laws must respect the separation between church and state in a way that protects religious freedom, must allow local issues to be handled locally and must promote solidarity with the poor “on a national and international level.” The pope also said John of Salisbury believed strongly that truth and beauty, not simply fancy rhetoric, was the measure of culture and that those who had the means to communicate truth and beauty were obliged to do so. While the means for communicating have multiplied beyond what the 12th-century philosopher could have imagined, the pope said, “there remains an urgent need to communicate messages endowed with wisdom, that is, inspired by truth, by goodness and beauty. This is a great responsibility, which particularly regards people who work in the complex sphere of culture, communications and the media. This is an environment where the Gospel can be proclaimed with missionary vigor.” At the end of the audience, Pope Benedict blessed a new Nativity scene and Christmas tree decorations for the Vatican audience hall. Mexican artists created the handmade decorations. After the audience, Pope Benedict was formally presented with a certificate of honorary citizenship from Introd, the city in the northern Italian Alps where he has spent several July vacations.
Joy comes from receiving God’s love, not lots of things VATICAN CITY — The secret to experiencing true joy is not found in accumulating lots of things, but from feeling loved by the Lord and being generous to others, Pope Benedict XVI said. Real joy is feeling that one’s personal and social life “is touched and filled by a great mystery, the mystery of God’s love,” he said December 13 before his midday recitation of the Angelus with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. On the third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete (Latin for “rejoice”) Sunday, the pope said Advent helps people “rediscover the meaning and pleasure of Christian joy, which is so different from that (joy) of the world.” The square was filled with children and families who brought statues of the baby Jesus for the pope to bless before placing them in Nativity scenes at home and at school. Before blessing the figurines, the pope expressed his happiness that families continue to keep the Nativity scene tradition alive. But, he said, “following a tradition, as important as it is, is not enough.” “It’s necessary to try to live every single day in the way the Nativ-
ity represents, that is, with Christ’s love, his humility and his poverty,” he said. The Nativity scene is a lesson for life, a scene depicting the secret to true joy, he said. The Holy Family, gathered in a stable and facing so many hardships, does not on the surface, look like a very lucky family, he said. “And yet, they are full of an intimate joy because they love each other, they help each other” and above all they are certain that their lives are fulfilling God’s work, said the pope. True joy, therefore, “does not consist in having lots of things, but in feeling loved by the Lord, in letting ourselves be a gift to others, and in loving ourselves,” he said. To feel joy, people need love and truth and to be close to God, who “warms our hearts and responds to our deepest needs,” he said. Earlier in the day, the pope visited the Rome Foundation Hospice and met with the center’s healthcare workers and 30 terminally ill patients. The patients, many of whom suffer from cancer, Alzheimer’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease, receive free palliative care and treatment.
the reason for the season — Pope Benedict XVI prays at a Nativity scene during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican recently. The clay Nativity scene and tree decorations were gifts from Mexican artisans. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope orders changes to clarify canon law on deacons, some marriages By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has made changes in Church law to clarify the role of deacons and to remove an ambiguity about the marriage status of some Catholics. The modifications were ordered by the pope in a document, “Omnium in Mente,” (“In the Mind of All”) published December 15 in Latin and Italian by the Vatican. Two rewritten canons in the Code of Canon Law reinforced the distinction between the role of governance belonging to bishops and priests and the role of service belonging to deacons. Changes to three other canons removed an exemption from some rules on marriage for Catholics who have formally declared they are no longer part of the Church. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said the changed language on deacons more clearly reflects the doctrinal position of the Church, especially the teaching of the Second Vatican Council regarding the permanent diaconate. The current Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1984, spoke of three grades of the sacrament of orders — the episcopate, the presbyterate and the diaconate — by which ministers fulfill “the functions of teaching, sanctifying and governing,” each according to his grade. The new wording introduced by Pope Benedict mirrors the explanation of the roles of the Church’s
ordained ministers presented in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” which says that the task of governing on behalf of Christ, the head of the Church, is proper only to bishops and priests. The new version adds the phrase: “Those who are constituted in the order of the episcopate or the presbyterate receive the mission and faculty to act in the person of Christ the head, while deacons are enabled to serve the people of God in the diaconate of the liturgy, the word and charity.” In a commentary published with the pope’s document, Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, said the changes to the three canons involving marriage simply remove the mention of Catholics who have made a formal declaration of leaving the Church.
The 1984 Code of Canon Law automatically exempted such Catholics from some requirements, such as seeking formal permission from a bishop to marry a non-Catholic or a non-Christian. The exemptions were seen as a way to protect the validity of the marriages of people the Catholic Church considers members of the Church, but who obviously would not follow all Church procedures because they don’t consider themselves Catholics anymore, Archbishop Coccopalmerio said. But the exemptions gave rise to a variety of different interpretations and created enormous confusion, the archbishop said. The council for legislative texts began studying the issue formally in 1997 and even then most people consulted recommended the exemptions simply be erased, the archbishop said.
The photo on the cover of this week’s Anchor is from the stained glass window of the Nativity at St. Anthony’s Church in New Bedford.
OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 53, No. 49
Member: Catholic Press Association, Catholic News Service Published weekly except for two weeks in the summer and the week after Christmas by the Catholic Press of the Diocese of Fall River, 887 Highland Avenue, Fall River, MA 02720, Telephone 508-675-7151 — FAX 508-675-7048, email: email@example.com. Subscription price by mail, postpaid $14.00 per year. Send address changes to P.O. Box 7, Fall River, MA, call or use email address
PUBLISHER - Most Reverend George W. Coleman EXECUTIVE EDITOR Father Roger J. Landry firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR David B. Jolivet email@example.com NEWS EDITOR Deacon James N. Dunbar firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICE MANAGER Mary Chase email@example.com ADVERTISING Wayne R. Powers firstname.lastname@example.org REPORTER Kenneth J. Souza email@example.com Send Letters to the Editor to: firstname.lastname@example.org PoStmaSters send address changes to The Anchor, P.O. Box 7, Fall River, MA 02722. THE ANCHOR (USPS-545-020) Periodical Postage Paid at Fall River, Mass.
December 24, 2009
The International Church
Irish bishop resigns over his handling of clerical sexual abuse
world-wide observance — A U.S. Army soldier from Task Force Denali 1-40 CAV, lights Advent candles during a Christian service at Forward Operating Base Clark in Khowst province, Afghanistan. (CNS photo/Zohra Bensemra, Reuters)
John Paul II and Pius XII closer to canonization
Benedict XVI advances cause of Pius XII VATICAN CITY (Zenit.org) — Benedict XVI authorized the decrees that recognize the heroic virtue of Popes John Paul II and Pius XII, which pushes them both one step closer to canonization. The German Pontiff approved a total of 21 decrees Saturday, five of which are for miracles attributed to those who are beatified, and are now qualified for canonization. Five decrees are for miracles attributed to those who are venerable, and are now qualified for beatification. One decree testifies to martyrdom, and another is a decree of the heroic virtue of a Blessed. The nine remaining decrees, including those of the two pontiffs, testify to the heroic virtue of Servants of God. The nine are now given the title Venerable. The candidates need a miracle attributed to their intercession to qualify for beatification. Pius XII, born Eugenio Pacelli, was born in Rome in 1876, and served as pope from 1939 until he died in 1958 at Castel Gandolfo. The Holy Father steered the Church through the stormy years of the Second World War. He has been criticized for remaining silent in face of the Jewish Holocaust, although many historians note that he served an important role in helping to save the lives of many Jews. John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyla, was born in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. He was elected pope in October 1978, and he served until he died on April 2, 2005. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims filled St. Peter’s Square during his last days, and for his funeral.
The historians of the 20th century attribute the fall of communism in great part to the Polish pope, and Church historians note his decisive efforts to faithfully apply the Second Vatican Council. Benedict XVI approved a decree attesting to a miracle attributed to Blessed Mary MacKillop, who will become Australia’s first saint. A miracle decree was also approved for Blessed André Bessette, the Holy Cross brother who founded St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada. Another decree attested to the martyrdom “in odium fidei” of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, who was the chaplain of Poland’s Solidarity union. The decree paves the way for Father Popieluszko’s beatification. The Communist regime regarded him as a fanatic, an example of militant clericalism. In 1984, at the age of 37, he was kidnapped and killed by secret service agents, who beat him and threw him into the icy waters of the Vistula River. The cause of canonization of the English nun Mary Ward (15851645) was also advanced. A decree was approved that attested to the heroic virtue of the founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Loreto Sisters. In this journey, Benedict XVI declared, “the Church welcomes with joy and stupor the miracles that God, in his infinite goodness, gratuitously gives her, to confirm the evangelical preaching. She welcomes, moreover, the witness of the martyrs as the most limpid and intense form of configuration to Christ.”
DUBLIN, Ireland (CNS) — Bishop Donal Murray of Limerick has resigned after weeks of pressure over his handling of clerical sexual abuse when he served in the Dublin Archdiocese. Speaking December 17 after the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI had accepted his resignation, Bishop Murray told a large congregation in St. John’s Cathedral in Limerick, “I humbly apologize once again to all who were abused as little children.” “I know full well that my resignation cannot undo the pain that survivors of abuse have suffered in the past and continue to suffer each day,” he told the congregation which included many priests of the diocese. A government investigation found that Bishop Murray, who served as auxiliary bishop of the Dublin Archdiocese from 1982 to 1996, failed to investigate allegations of abuse against a priest and called his action “inexcusable.” The findings from the investigation, published November 26 in the so-called Murphy Report, looked at the handling of some 325 abuse claims in the archdiocese in the years 1975-2004. The commission in charge of the investigation also found that Church leaders had put the avoidance of scandal and the reputation of the institution before the rights of victims. Immediately after the report’s
publication Bishop Murray rejected calls for his resignation. However, Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the Irish bishops’ conference, publicly called on the embattled bishop December 5 to “do the right thing” and resign. The following day Bishop Murray traveled to Rome and met with officials from the Vatican’s Congregation to the Doctrine of the Faith to tender his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI. Speaking in Rome, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said Bishop Murray “presented his resignation on his own initiative.” “A bishop is meant to be a person who seeks to lead and inspire all the people of the diocese in living as a community united in the truth and love of Christ. I asked the Holy Father to allow me to resign and to appoint a new bishop to the diocese because I believe that my presence will create difficulties for some of the survivors who must have first place in our thoughts and prayers,” he said. “To all survivors of abuse I repeat that my primary concern is to assist in every way that I can, on their journey towards finding closure and serenity,” Bishop Murray said. His announcement was followed by a holy hour of guided prayer for abuse victims. Bishop Murphy’s decision to step down is expected to put fur-
ther pressure on four other Irish bishops who also are mentioned in the report. Auxiliary Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field, both of Dublin, Bishop James Moriarity of Kildare and Leighlin and Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway and Kilmacduagh have resisted calls for their resignation, insisting that they have done nothing wrong. The Irish Catholic newspaper reported December 17 that Bishop Moriarity, an auxiliary bishop in Dublin between 1991 and 2002, has indicated he may be ready to step down. “My position is simple,” Bishop Moriarity said in a statement. “I am 73 years of age and am obliged to tender my resignation when I turn 75. If it will serve the Church and the victims for me to go sooner I will do that.” Bishop Moriarity was criticized in the Murphy Report for an incident involving a priest who abused children who were patients at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children. Bishop Murray’s resignation comes as Irish Catholics are awaiting a pastoral letter from Pope Benedict XVI on the issue. The pope promised such an the letter after a December 4 summit with leaders from the Irish Catholic Church at the Vatican. The letter will herald a “significant structural reform” of the Church in Ireland, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.
The Church in the U.S.
December 24, 2009
Filling empty Catholic schools with Latino students
Campaign proposes win-win solution SOUTH BEND, Indiana, (Zenit.org) — A Notre Dame task force is proposing to double the percentage of Latinos in Catholic schools, bringing their number to one million by 2020. And reaching the goal, proponents say, should mean helping the Latino population to avoid drop-outs, and helping Catholic schools to ward off the threat of closing their doors due to budget pressures. The Notre Dame Task Force published its report December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The 64-page report is titled “To Nurture the Soul of a Nation: Latino Families, Catholic Schools, and Educational Opportunity.” The goal proposed by the task force is to up the percentage of Latinos attending Catholic schools — now three percent — to six percent by 2020. This would mean going from 290,000 students to more than one million. The proposal offers a win-win solution, both for Catholic schools and for the Latino population, the task force maintained. This is because of facts such as in the 2007-2008 school year, there were more than 691,000 empty seats in existing Catholic schools. More than a third of those spots were in 13 states where the Latino population was either the largest population or the fastestgrowing over the past 10 years. Empty seats, of course, translate into low funds. This phenomenon partially explains why nearly one in five Catholic schools have closed since the year 2000. The report notes that “elementary schools in major urban areas have been hardest hit.” Even in the urban Catholic schools that have stayed open, enrollment has dropped by 30 percent in elementary. “There are fewer and fewer children occupying seats in fewer and fewer schools,” the report explains. Meanwhile, the number of Hispanics enrolled in Catholic schools has remained stagnant for the past 15 years despite the “ro-
bust increase in the Hispanic population,” the report explains. “Or, in other words, the percentage of school-age Latinos in Catholic schools has declined.” But the Hispanic population would do well to take advantage of the “Catholic school advantage,” the report notes. The Hispanic population faces the problem of low performance as a group. The report cited reports showing that only 16 percent of Hispanic students are considered college-ready, based on high school completion rates, curricular offerings and literacy scores. According to the Notre Dame Task Force, the situation detailed above makes for two pieces to a wonderfully matched puzzle. Notwithstanding a series of true obstacles — including elements such as high tuition costs for Catholic education, personnel at Catholic schools little equipped to deal with language and culture barriers, and institutions with poor or no marketing programs — the task force sees an abundance of opportunities. So, for example, regarding the problem of high tuition — the No. 1 concern raised by potential Latino Catholic school parents — the report assures “money does not tell the whole story.” It goes on to look at a series of innovative funding methods being used across the nation. In fact, more than half of the report is a point-by-point look at the obstacles, and how they have become opportunities for a few successful Catholic schools around the United States. According to the blog of the U.S. episcopal conference, “It seems like Our Lady of Guadalupe is telling us something here.” “With education, secular and Catholic, being one of the key priorities for the U.S. Catholic bishops,” the blog notes, “Church leaders are sure to applaud this initiative from Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education and others.”
important lesson — Religion teacher Alicia Dominguez reviews how to receive Communion with students who will receive their first Communion at St. Paul Church in Wilmington, Del.. According to Pew research, the growth of the Latino population in the U.S., through immigration and births, is the primary reason that the percentage of Catholics in the nation has remained unchanged at just under a quarter of the total population. (CNS photo/Don Blake, The Dialog)
Growing Latino Catholic population said to challenge, energize Church By Beth Griffin Catholic News Service NEW YORK — The rapid growth and cultural diversity of Latino Catholics makes tremendous demands on the Catholic Church at the same time it enriches and revitalizes the Church community, according to speakers at a forum on “Becoming Latino: The Transformation of U.S. Catholicism.” Latinos, like Catholics throughout the Church, vary greatly and require a variety of pastoral responses. The U.S. bishops support integration as a way to receive people of different cultures into the Church, rather than assimilation, which is dehumanizing and racist, the speakers said. The December 9 forum was sponsored by the Center on Religion and Culture at Jesuit-run Fordham University in New York. “Latinos are two decades away from constituting (as much as) 50 percent of the Catholic population,” said Peter Steinfels, the center’s co-director. “Latino Catholics will not just have a place at the table, they are likely to be the hosts at the table.” He said the focus in the past was on whether Latino Catholics were being recognized and welcomed as a new minority or whether they were turning instead to other Christian groups. Now, Latino Catholics are determining how best to mobilize their own intellectual and pastoral resources to win a voice and a place at the table, he said. Jesuit Father Allan Figueroa Deck, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, concurred with late Cardinal Avery
Dulles, who said the coming of immigrants, particularly Hispanics, to the U.S. Catholic Church at this time offers unprecedented opportunities for the Church to influence U.S. culture. The growth of the Latino population, through immigration and births, is the primary reason the percentage of Catholics in the United States has remained consistent, at 23 percent to 24 percent, according to Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “The U.S. is not becoming less Catholic because the Roman Catholic Church is becoming more Hispanic,” he said. Lugo said the three main factors that determine a religious group’s share of the population are immigration, fertility rates and the degree to which members change religious affiliation. In general, the Catholic Church is a “leading demographic indicator,” said Lugo. “If you want to see where the country as a whole will be in 40 years, look at the Roman Catholic Church today.” He added that almost 50 percent of Catholics under age 40 are Latino. “Ours is truly an immigrant Church,” Lugo said. “If there’s a group that knows how to integrate immigrants through long practice, it’s the Roman Catholic Church.” Jesuit Father Claudio Burgaleta, coordinator of the Latin studies program at Fordham’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, said Latinos “are at the same time traditional and orthodox and also charismatic. These are characteristics that often don’t go together in the popular imagination.”
He said the apparent contradictions can be understood by remembering that Catholic imagination “is sacramental and can hold in tension dimensions that don’t cohere.” “Catholics believe in the Eucharist. They believe that the bread and wine is more than bread and wine and that the Eucharist is more than simply a religious ritual,” he said. “That sacramental imagination helps to explain some of the richness and uniqueness of the Latino Catholic population.” Father Burgaleta said the diversity of the Latino Catholic population, which includes many different national cultures, “is a tremendous headache for priests, religious and lay workers. It makes tremendous demands on pastoral services at the same time that it enriches the community with many different traditions of Catholicism.” He described the encuentro programs organized by the Catholic bishops in the 1980s to develop a pastoral plan for Hispanics. “The received paradigm is no longer valid,” he said, because it does not recognize the current diversity of Latino Catholics. Msgr. Arturo Banuelas, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in El Paso, Texas, said comparisons of Latinos to groups who emigrated from other continents are misleading. Referring to the purchase of the American Southwest from Mexico in 1848, Msgr. Banuelas said, “We did not cross an ocean, the border crossed us. While many still tag us as a minority in the U.S., Latinos feel linked with the rest of the Spanish-speaking people of the Americas.”
December 24, 2009
U.S. bishops: Senate bill still unacceptable WASHINGTON, D.C. (Zenit.org) — Despite lastminute efforts to improve the language on abortion and conscience rights in the Senate’s proposed health care reform bill, the U.S. bishops oppose its passage. This was affirmed in a statement released December 20 by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the conference’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chair of the bishops’ Committee on Migration; and Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., chair of the Domestic Policy Committee. The prelates acknowledge the “good faith” efforts of several senators in proposing changes to the bill, as well as several positive points of the
Manager’s Amendment that was proposed December 20. While praising adoption tax credits and assistance for pregnant women, the letter laments that the current legislation “does not seem to allow purchasers who exercise freedom of choice or of conscience to ‘opt out’ of abortion coverage in federally subsidized health plans that include such coverage.” “While we appreciate the good-faith efforts made,” the letter continues, “our judgment is the same as it was yesterday: This legislation should not move forward in its current form. “It should be opposed unless and until such serious concerns have been addressed.” In a separate letter issued December 19, Cardinal Di-
Nardo reaffirmed the position of the episcopal conference that “the legislation will be morally unacceptable ‘unless and until’ it complies with long-standing current laws on abortion funding such as the Hyde Amendment.” The cardinal concluded by affirming that the bishops will “continue to work for health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all.” “As the bishops have said many times,” he continued, “providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental principles is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority.” A final vote on the bill in the Senate is expected this week.
Washington Archdiocese says vote legalizing gay marriage regrettable B y Catholic News Service WASHINGTON — The Washington Archdiocese expressed regret that a District of Columbia bill to legalize samesex marriage was approved despite Church opposition and without protecting religious freedom. “Since this legislation was first introduced in October, the Archdiocese of Washington opposed the redefinition of marriage based on the core teaching of the Catholic Church that the complementarity of man and woman is intrinsic to the definition of marriage,” said an archdiocesan statement December 15. However, the archdiocese said that because “the City Council was committed to legalizing same-sex marriages,” it had advocated for a bill that would balance that action with protecting religious freedom. The archdiocese’s statement was issued the same day the council voted 11-2 to allow gay couples from anywhere in the country to marry in the city. The vote was the second of two required on the measure, which was first introduced nearly a year ago. The bill now goes to Mayor Adrian Fenty, who has said he will sign the bill. It also must undergo a 30day congressional review period. The archdiocesan statement noted that the district now joins a handful of states where leg-
islatures or courts “have redefined marriage to include persons of the same sex.” The Washington Archdiocese opposed any effort to redefine marriage as other than that between a man and a woman. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a permanent union between one man and one woman. But archdiocesan officials also argued that the bill would restrict the free exercise of religion and would affect the ability of its Catholic Charities agency to work with the city in serving the poor. The archdiocesan statement said the archdiocese and Catholic Charities “are deeply committed to serving those in need, regardless of race, creed,
gender, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. This commitment is integral to our Catholic faith and will remain unchanged into the future.” “Religious organizations have long been eligible to provide social services in our nation’s capital and have not been excluded simply because of their religious character,” the statement said. “This is because the choice of provider has focused on the ability to deliver services effectively and efficiently. “We are committed to serving the needs of the poor and look forward to working in partnership with the District of Columbia consistent with the mission of the Catholic Church,” it said.
sneak peak — Cousins Xiomara Garcia and Alyzah Avila, students at Blessed Sacrament School in Milwaukee and members of the Danza Aztecz Mexico dance troupe, take a quick look inside the church before their entrance to offer their dance and roses to Our Lady of Guadalupe recently. The parish event drew more than 300 people to a celebration that included “Las Mañanitas” — a Mexican version of “Happy Birthday” — and a Mass followed by food and music in the church hall. (CNS photo/Juan Carlos Medina, Catholic Herald)
Our Lady’s Chapel
600 Pleasant St., New Bedford, MA Sat., 2 January 2010• 508-996-8274
Blessed John Don Scotus Hall: Fatima Video Presentation.
Church: Procession of Our Lady. Angelus. Crowning Ceremony. Sung Litany of Loreto. The Five Joyful Mysteries.
Mass of Our Lady: Celebrant and Preacher, Fr. Dominic, FI.
Lunch break (please bring bag lunch).
Exposition and Procession of the Blessed Sacrament.
Sermon on Our Lady by Fr. Raphael, FI. Silent Adoration.
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord.
The Five Glorious Mysteries. Act of Consecration. Benediction.
Enrollment in the Brown Scapular and Conferment of Miraculous Medal. Procession of Our Lady. - Confessions available throughout the day - Finish approx 4:30 pm Chapel is wheelchair accessible SELECTION OF VENUES FOR 2010: Saturday, 6 Feb 2010 St. Kilian Church, New Bedford, MA Saturday, 6 Mar 2010 St. John of God Church, Somerset, MA Saturday, 1 May 2010 St. Brendan Church, Bellingham, MA
The Anchor The solution, not the problem
Each year the joy of Christmas is contextualized by the remembrance of those whom Christian tradition has called the Holy Innocents, the male infants two years old and younger who were slaughtered by Herod’s henchmen as collateral damage in his pursuit to execute the one whom the Magi was calling the “new born king of the Jews.” Herod wanted to cling on to his power so much that he ignored elemental right and wrong. He sought to eliminate what he thought was his competition but who in reality was his savior. These same Herodian tendencies have been on display recently with regard to two issues that have been capturing the public’s attention: health care reform in Washington and climate change in Copenhagen. In Washington, we continue to see the sad spectacle of a majority of legislators’ insisting that health care reform requires that our tax dollars be used to pay for others to kill their children in the womb. On December 8, the Senate voted 54-45 to reject the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment, which would have banned government-appropriated funds from paying for abortion. Sixteen Catholic senators, 15 of them Democrats, voted against the amendment, including Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Paul Kirk. This was a vote in which there was no opportunity to dissimulate about “not imposing one’s morality on others,” “disobeying the Constitution,” “preserving the status quo” on abortion, or even “trying to preserve the hope of universal health care.” This was a vote as to whether our tax dollars and other federal funds should pay for — and therefore promote and cooperate in — abortion. These 16, with 38 others, rejected that amendment so that federal money would now go to underwrite elective abortions. The fact that the defeat occurred on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception put their betrayal of Catholic principles into greater relief. We celebrate on this feast how from the first moment of her life, Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin, which points to the reality that from the first moment of her life, she not only had a human soul (preserved free from all blemish of sin) but was in an intimate relationship with God, who already had in mind for her a great role in the salvation of the world. Every human being is made in God’s image and likeness and exists in relation to him. To destroy the image is in a sense to seek to destroy the exemplar. Why would Catholic senators, many of whom have received a superb Catholic education, freely choose to subsidize the extermination of both image and exemplar? It appears that their consciences are more attuned to Emily’s List and the infernal influences of the pro-abortion lobby than to the voice of God. It appears that, like Herod, they account the slaughter of holy innocents a small price to pay in their pursuit of other ends. We have also seen some Herodian paradigms leading up to and flowing out of the Copenhagen summit on climate change. There is obviously a need for the world to come together to protect our environment. Should global warming be scientifically verified — based on hard data rather than dubious computer models and the spin of certain scientists whose ethical violations have recently been exposed — we also need to act, individually and corporately, to seek to remedy and repair the damage. We must make sure, however, that in our hysteria to counteract the threat of global warming, we not repeat Herod’s fatal mistake, by seeking to eliminate the main solution to the problem of global warming, by falsely classifying him as the threat. There are many neo-Malthusian environmentalists who are asserting that the principal menace to the environment is the human being. By this, they do not mean human beings who dump toxic waste into rivers, streams and ground-water supplies. They are not referring to factory owners in China who release pollutants through unfiltered smoke stacks. They are not describing those who carelessly unleash crude oil on the sea or do not prevent nuclear waste from escaping into the environs. They mean human beings who breathe. If you want to see a big polluter, they say, look in the mirror; or to see the worst environmental threats of all, visit a maternity ward. That is what is behind a push at the Environmental Protection Agency to redefine carbon dioxide as a pollutant and then regulate it by the powers Congress has given the agency through the Clean Air Act. Once carbon dioxide, which human beings exhale, is classified as a pollutant, human beings become categorized as polluters just as much as coal-burning factories; then, just like such factories, human life can be regulated and even criminalized. This thought probably seems outlandish to most readers, but they need to know that it does not seem outlandish to many environmentalists. Prior to the Copenhagen Summit, a British think tank, Optimum Population Trust, launched a carbon dioxide offset scheme that encouraged summit participants to counterbalance the amount of carbon dioxide of their flight by giving $7 to a “family planning” initiative to prevent the birth of one child in an African country. The way to offset a large carbon footprint by a leader in the developed world, in other words, is to make sure there is not another set of feet in a child in the developing world. While the summit was going on, Diane Francis, a columnist for the Canada’s largest newspaper, “The National Post,” argued that in order to protect the environment, all nations must impose China’s one-child policy. China’s official government agency released a statement praising, among its other environmental “accomplishments,” its draconian one-child policy as being environmentally-friendly and urging other nations to learn from its false wisdom. A United Nations Agency in its November State of the World Population 2009 Report emphasized the connection between protecting the environment and preventing the birth of human polluters so much that the Associated Press entitled its review of the Report, “UN: Fight Climate Change with Free Condoms.” Note that none of these environmentalists are claiming that the remedy to global warming would be to eliminate other carbon dioxide emitters. No one is proposing that we should slaughter the wild horses in the Midwest, cull elephants in Africa, destroy cattle herds in Brazil, or butcher kangaroos in Australia. It would violate the tenets of environmentalism to say that protecting the environment means anything other than treasuring and protecting animals, whether endangered species or not. The only species that someone gets neglected seems to be homo sapiens. Pope Benedict has stressed that any true environmentalism cannot be built on premises that do not respect the human person. He wrote in his Message for the World Day of Peace 2010, released on December 8 during the Copenhagen Summit, that there is a connection between “human ecology” and “environmental ecology.” “Our duties towards the environment,” he states, “flow from our duties towards the person, considered both individually and in relation to others.” This is a development of the theme he articulated in his July encyclical “Caritas in Veritate,” which has become even more relevant as some try to define human beings as polluters by nature: “If there is a lack of respect for the right to life and to a natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology. It is contradictory to insist that future generations respect the natural environment when our educational systems and laws do not help them to respect themselves…. Herein lies a grave contradiction in our mentality and practice today: one which demeans the person, disrupts the environment and damages society” (51). This is a strong response to those environmentalists who are charging, falsely, that the cause of environmental destruction is overpopulation. Human beings, through the creative capacities God has given us, will be what saves the environment, not destroys it. Others are not our “competition,” or the problem, but the solution.
December 24, 2009
Making our hearts a crib
St. John Vianney always loved the major sonified many of the truths that the Lord and his feasts of our faith, but Christmas in particular Apostles would later preach. He “chose what is filled him with extraordinary joy. In the tiny weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor baby Jesus lying in the manger, the Curé of Ars 1:27) and proved that “when I am weak, it is then saw enfleshed the amazing extent of God’s love I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10). We see this clearly in and the central lines of his plan to save us. On the infant who, “even though he is so helpless in this Christmas Eve, it’s fitting for us to turn to the crib, holds the world in his arms,” the saint one of his Christmas homilies and let his prayer- said. Jesus would teach that “unless you become ful insights catapult us, as they did his original like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom listeners, to enter more deeply into the wonder of heaven” (Mt 18:3), and shows us how to do of this mystery. that in Bethlehem. “The Son of God preaches to “Who can describe the joy of the feast of us in his infancy from the crib,” the Curé stated, Christmas!,” the patron saint of priests was ac- and “in his childhood draws our hearts toward customed to exclaim. The “good news of great him, vanquishes the world and teaches us how joy” announced by the angels on the plains of to become as children, that we may obtain the Bethlehem is fundamentally, he stressed, that kingdom of heaven.” For Vianney this real“God is with us.” Isaiah’s prophecy that a virgin ity gave new meaning to Isaiah’s prophecy that would conceive and bear a son and name him “a child is born for us” whose name would be Emmanuel not only came true, but was fulfilled called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Evin a way far exceeding traditional Jewish hopes: erlasting Father and Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6). He Emmanuel was not just a “symbol” that God was all that and more as a little baby. was with his people but actually was God himMore than becoming man or entering our self, born of a virgin he had himself formed in world as an infant, St. John Vianney was most the womb. God’s love for us was so great that stupefied at the Lord’s mercy in being born in he chose to become one of us to deliver us from indigence. “Stable, crib, swaddling clothes repsin, reconcile us resent the greatto God and open est poverty,” he heaven to us. said, “the povSt. John Vianerty of dwelling, ney’s amazement the poverty of at God’s presthe way of livence with us in ing. The kings the world, howand emperors of By Father ever, didn’t stop this world are Roger J. Landry there. It grew in born in palaces” three successive and yet the Son stages, correof God was born sponding to what he viewed as three different in one of the most impoverished manners availstages of God’s humility: first, in the Lord’s able. That provoked the patron saint of priests to sharing our human nature; second, in his com- ask, “Why did he choose poverty?” The answer, ing into our world as a little baby; and third, in he discovered in prayer, was so that Jesus could his being born in abject poverty. be even closer to us. “The first step of the mercy of God that we “Poverty is our very existence. How poor devoutly adore in the crib of Bethlehem,” he and helpless is even the rich man,” Vianney said, is that Jesus has “taken a human nature, preached. “Therefore the Savior wanted to be a human body, and a human soul, the same as nearer to the poor man; that is why he appeared we have. He has become one of us.” This divine upon this earth in the utmost poverty.” He used abasement astonished him. “Who can measure another great image to show us why. “When the greatness of his compassion? A prince is Cyrus had vanquished the Persians by the sword certainly merciful if he sends a messenger with he possessed dominion over them, but when he gifts to the poor in their forsaken garret. This wished to win the hearts of the Persians, he is what God could have done. He could have clothed himself as a Persian. That is how our sent us a Moses to break the chains of our slav- Savior wished to win our hearts. He took upon ery. He could have sent us a prophet Jonah to himself our weakness, our lowliness, our povpreach penance to us. He could have let Elijah erty, so as to approach us as nearly as possible appear to us again to bring the word of God like as a poor child.” a burning torch. That would have been great The “great sermon” that Jesus preached in mercy, but God wanted to do more than this.” the poor stable and proclaimed from the poor God came himself. If he had come in the bright- crib was, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for ness of his divine glory, St. John Vianney says, theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). Jewe would not have been capable of looking at sus’ voluntary embracing of poverty inaugurates him. So he divested himself of that glory to be- that new kingdom. “Through him, the Son of come one of us. Just as if “the sun sank into a God, poverty is no longer despicable, no longer drop of water in the ocean and through this drop shameful, no longer mean; through him is povwould light up all the other drops in the ocean, erty ennobled, exalted and sanctified.” The poor, so “God with us abased himself to exalt us.” coming to kneel at the crib, find the “only thing” This blessing, this illumination, he said, begins that can bring them happiness in their poverty: “already in the crib.” Christ himself, the Savior, born poor like them. St. John Vianney’s awe for God’s merciful The rich, coming to that same crib, recognize love as seen in Bethlehem only expanded when that possessions and money cannot redeem he contemplated that God had not merely taken them or make them free; only Christ can. on human nature but had become a defenseThat’s why St. John Vianney encouraged all less baby. “Without a doubt,” the Curé of Ars his listeners to make their hearts into a poor crib preached, “the Son of God might have appeared so that “we may have a dwelling that we can upon earth as a grown man. But he didn’t. He offer to the divine Savior. He seeks and desires abased himself and lay in the crib as a helpless a dwelling of poverty, so that he may return into infant.” The reason he did this, Vianney assert- our hearts.” That’s the humble path by which ed, was to make it as easy as possible for us to the divine Savior will “take possession of us” approach him. We all, he said, “approach a child and fill our hears with “that message of joy and without fear, the high and the low, the learned peace to men of good will upon the earth.” and the unlearned, the rich and the poor.” God’s St. John Vianney’s heart was always a crib becoming a little baby allows us “to go to the poor in spirit that solicited and treasured the throne of his mercy with confidence. At the presence of the King of Kings. This Christmas crib all fear vanishes, even the greatest criminal he doubtless intercedes from heaven so that the draws near to the child with assurance and con- earthen vessels of our hearts might become just fidence. What opens more easily than the hands as enriched. of a little child?” Father Landry is pastor of St. Anthony of In the baby Jesus, St. John Vianney saw per- Padua Parish in New Bedford.
Putting Into the Deep
he call to be a priest is a great mystery. God calls whomever he wants, whenever he wants and however He wants. His call doesn’t depend on us at all. It doesn’t matter how good or bad we are. It is a free gift, without any personal merit. It is not difficult to come to the conclusion that, because of our calling despite our weaknesses, God has shown priests more of his mercy. This is one way he has perhaps given us more. This, too, remains part of the mystery of the priesthood. There are many different ideas about how God calls. Many people think that God calls us all the way he called St. Paul or some of the Old Testament prophets: by a voice, by some fire appearing in your room or another miraculous intervention. God does occasionally call a man in an extraordinary way, but most of the time it is through far more ordinary means. Regardless, eventually the idea of becoming a priest comes into a man’s mind. St. Thomas Aquinas said that such an idea can come from either God or the devil and that even if it comes from the devil, we should follow it because of
December 24, 2009
The mystery of the priesthood
one but God himself, God who the objective greatness of the through him opens the doors of vocation. heaven for the sinner and closes When we start to realize that the doors of hell. God is calling us, the first reacI am so proud to be part of tion of many of us is, “Please, the ministers of the Church that God, don’t call me. Ask me whatever you want but don’t ask Jesus Christ founded 2009 years ago when he told Peter, “You are me to be a priest.” Eventually we mature enough to say, “How rock and upon this rock I will built my church.” Human beings can I pay you back for the enorcan think and worry about many mous gift that you have given things, but there is only one me?” (Ps 116:12). My life as a priest has gone by so quickly. Year For Priests I cannot believe that I have already been a Vocational Reflection priest for five years. While we priests are always busy, I’ve discovBy Father ered how important it is Hugo Cardenas, IVE always to leave time for prayer, without which that is eternally important: our we can do nothing. salvation and the salvation of Prayer is also one of the all souls. As Christians by our only outlets we have for one of baptism, we are part of this misthe activities that a priest does “alone” and can never really talk sionary program of Christ. God about with anyone other than the wanted it that way. As priests, Lord: the sacrament of reconcili- we recognize that God wanted to use some men to be his shepation. This is yet another part of the amazing and sacred mystery herds after his own heart, and we have the privilege to be those of the priesthood, in which the priest is the instrument by which men. The world in which we are God gives his mercy to sinners. The joy that a priest experiences living is becoming less Chriscannot be fully shared with any- tian. God has become last on
many people’s list of priorities. We have kicked him out of our public offices, public schools, and even our conversations. People say that it is politically incorrect even to say the name of Jesus because it “offends” others. This is one of the reasons why it is very encouraging not only to be a Catholic Christian today, but also a priest, since we need to swim against a big current of confusion, against a culture of death as Pope John Paul II would call it, against a culture without real families values and against a world without God. This is a time, therefore, not just of great challenges but of great graces from God to rise up to meet those challenges. It is impossible to separate the priesthood from the Eucharist. This is the fundamental reason why, I believe, I was called to be a priest: to celebrate the Eucharist. I still remember as yesterday my first Mass of Thanksgiving, which I celebrated in my home town. I was very nervous. My superior in the Institute of the Incarnate Word was next to me telling me
what to do. After Mass, people came to kiss the hands of the new priest. That reminded me of the sacredness of the sacrament of holy orders that I had just received, that the priest’s hands and life have been separated or consecrated for God alone. Just to think that after I say the words of consecration during Mass the bread and wine I hold in my hands become the Body, Blood, soul and divinity of our Lord goes beyond my or anyone’s capacity to understand. We can understand it only through faith. I am totally overwhelmed by the fact that, as a priest, doing what Christ commanded me to do, I can do things that no one else in the universe but priests can do. What a great gift. Every day I give thanks to God for the great gift of the priesthood that he has given to me and to the whole Church, and I ask the Mother of God and our Blessed Virgin Mary to grant me the grace to persevere joyfully and faithfully to the end. Father Cardenas, ordained in 2004 as a priest of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, is pastor of St. Killian Parish in New Bedford.
Remembering those who pave the way for us
o you remember someone who left a great impression on you? For many of us, I would say it was a teacher or administrator in a Catholic school. A person, whose interest and influence are as vivid in our memory today as they were 10, 20, maybe even 50 years ago. Teachers and administrators in today’s Catholic schools are leaving those same impressions. Called to serve in the educational ministry of our Church, men and women, religious and lay, new to education and long-time veterans to Catholic school teaching, continue to embrace the missionary spirit; bringing God’s word and God’s love to all with whom they work, live and teach. In accepting the invitation to teach and lead in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, Catholic school educators have responded to the Lord’s call to “go out to all the world and tell the good news.” Their commitment to creating and sustaining faithcentered student communities rooted in the teachings and traditions of the Catholic faith and imbued with the desire to foster a respect for truth and a love of learning, a hallmark of our Catholic faith, rings as
them sincerely. true today as it always has. The contemporary CathoWhat is that persistent call that beckons thoughtful and faith-filled teachers to teach in The Value of our Catholic schools? Catholic Schools The Lord whispering, “Come follow me.” What blessings do they By Bishop experience that strike John B. McCormack that balance with the sacrifices they are lic schoolteacher embodies often called to make? The joy the same intrinsic virtues and of helping a student discover values as those who have gone God’s creation. There are certainly many other school environments that have fine academic cultures, strong visionary leaders, and resourceful and productive partnerships between home and school. The call our Catholic schoolteachers answer is that of the Church to come and see what the Lord has done to serve our Church. Catholic schoolteachers accept the call to empower their students to become disciples themselves. They are blessed with the opportunity to teach young people the stories of God’s love of them and the promise of life eternal. They commit themselves to develop communities that reflect the culture of kindness, respect, forgiveness, compassion, love, intellect, humor and perseverance. For all this we thank
before them. They value the dignity of each person, they honor the differences and diversity of the students before them and, they embrace the challenge of bringing Christ to the lives of their students. How fortunate are those students to know they are loved and valued; children of God and heirs of heaven. The gratitude we have for our Catholic schoolteach-
ers and leaders is deep and profound. In prayer, let us remember the men and women, religious and lay, who paved the way and those who now carry on our Church’s mission of evangelization in communion with God and each other. Bishop John B. McCormack is bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, N.H.
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ince June, when I was ordained a priest, God has given me new eyes with which to see him and how his Spirit moves and acts in and through his Church, in and through his holy people. These new eyes have allowed me to see things in a new way, and having seen anew, he has enabled me to live anew. My brothers and sisters, the good God offers these new eyes to all of us so that we might see in a new way the love he has for us, and so be transformed by it. In the first reading from the prophet Isaiah, we hear of a people who have walked in darkness. Who are these people? Isaiah was writing to the children of Israel in about 750-700 B.C. His words also apply to Israel at the time of Christ. He writes also for us, the Church, the new Israel. Just as Israel was in the dark of foreign occupation, so are we in the dark, the dark of disease, poverty, war, license, and injustice. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt
December 24, 2009
Let us see others as God sees us
in a land of gloom, a light has into a routine so repetitive shone. The Lord gave Israel and soul-crushing as to render new eyes to see that he loves them all blind. them. He is their God and they And there were in the same are his people and whatever country shepherds, abiding in trials they face in their future, the field and keeping watch he is with them as Wonderover their flock by night. And, Counselor, God-Hero, Father Forever, Prince of Peace. Homily of the Week When the angel Gabriel appeared first Christmas to Mary, our Blessed Mother and she asked By Father David Gabriel, “How can C. Deston Jr. this be?” and later to Joseph, when he was told that Mary’s child was conceived by the power lo, the angel of the Lord came of the Holy Spirit, they were upon them, and the glory of the given new eyes to see that the Lord shone round about them: Lord, the God of Israel would and they were sore afraid. use them to give Israel its longAnd the angel said unto them, awaited Messiah who would “Fear not: for, behold, I bring deliver them all from bondage. you good tidings of great joy, In the Gospel reading, we which shall be to all people. see a world asleep. One day For unto you is born this day trudged after another. The in the city of David a Savior, great faceless Roman bureauwhich is Christ the Lord. And cracy lumbered on in its quest this [shall be] a sign unto you; for more taxes. Israel was Ye shall find the babe wrapped buried in Torah, looking for the in swaddling clothes, lying in king to throw off the yoke of a manger.” And suddenly there Caesar. Everyone had settled was with the angel a multitude
of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.” With this, the shepherds and indeed, the whole world was given new eyes to see that the Lord, the most high king so loved his people that he sent his Son to become one of us, to feel what we feel, to live as we live, and to experience what we experience so that he could take it, transform it, and redeem it. To us he gave new eyes so that we could see that the Lord had been calling us from the moment he created us. He gave us new eyes that we may see how to truly say “yes” to the Father and each other, living and loving as he does, ending our alienation from God and each other and uniting us as one family, as one body with Christ as our head. Mary said “yes” to God by bearing the Christ-child. Joseph said “yes” to God by staying with Mary, raising Je-
sus as his own, and protecting and providing for them both. Jesus said “yes” to the Father on Calvary. The wood of the manger leads to the wood of the cross. Make no mistake, brethren, this is not a sad statement because it is through the “yes” that Christ spoke on Good Friday that death is defeated and sin is conquered. It is through the “yes” of Jesus that though he died, he rose on the third day. Brothers and sisters, in his dying and rising, we have gained eternal life and bliss. See with new eyes that the babe whose birth we commemorate today is our Messiah and king who won the victory for us and restored us to life. Having seen anew that the Christ-child is our Messiah, let us live anew as his holy people. Let us see one another, and ourselves, with the delight with which the good God sees, and having seen this, let us love anew and let us say our own “yes” to God and man alike. Father Deston is a parochial vicar at St. Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Dec. 26, feast of Stephen, First Martyr, Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59; Ps 31:3cd-4,6,8ab,16bc-17; Mt 10:17-22. Sun. Dec. 27, feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Sir 3:2-7,12-14; Ps 128:1-5; Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17; Lk 2:41-52 or, in Year C, 1 Sm 1:20-22,24-28; Ps 84:2-3,5-6,9-10; 1 Jn 3:1-2,21-24; Lk 2:41-52. Mon. Dec. 28, feast of The Holy Innocents, 1 Jn 1:5-2:2; Ps 124:2-5,7c-8; Mt 2:13-18. Tues. Dec. 29, 1 Jn 2:3-11; Ps 96:1-3,5b-6; Lk 2:22-35. Wed. Dec. 30, 1 Jn 2:12-17; Ps 96:7-10; Lk 2:36-40. Thur. Dec. 31, 1 Jn 2:18-21; Ps 96:1-2,11-13; Jn 1:1-18. Fri. Jan. 1, feast of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Nm 6:22-27; Ps 67:2-3,5-6,8; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21. Sat. Jan. 2, 1 Jn 2:22-28; Ps 98: 1-4; Jn 1:19-28. Sun. Jan. 3, The Epiphany of the Lord, Is 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-2,7-8,10-13; Eph 3:2-3a,5-6; Mt 2:1-12. Mon. Jan. 4, 1 Jn 3:22-4:6; Ps 2:7-8,10-12a; Mt 4:12-17,23-25. Tues. Jan. 5, 1 Jn 4:7-10; Ps 72:1-4,7-8; Mk 6:34-44. Wed. Jan. 6, 1 Jn 4:11-18; Ps 72:1-2,10-13; Mk 6:45-52. Thur. Jan. 7, 1 Jn 4:19-5:4; Ps 72:1-2,14,15bc,17; Lk 4:14-22a. Fri. Jan. 8, 1 Jn 5:5-13; Ps 147:12-15,19-20; Lk 5:12-16.
he New Testament reading that began this Advent season, from Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, was filled with the tension between the “now” and the “not yet” of the two comings of the Messiah—a tension that was evidently an issue for the early Church, and ought to be for us. As biblical scholar Gianfranco Ravasi puts it in a commentary on that text (1 Thes 3:12-4:2), the “coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ and all his saints” preoccupied the early Christian community in Thessalonika,” where “the tension was continuous and almost palpable.” Paul’s new Thessalonian Christians were, evidently, in something of an eschatological rush: they anxiously “waited for the reappearance of Christ in the splendor of his divinity” in order to straighten things out—“to repair the confusions, traumas and brokenness of our history.” It’s hard, these days, not to sympathize. 2009 has been a beast of a year: the deaths of what seems
The Bethlehem difference
a squadron of teachers, friends we get a glimpse of what St. Paul might have said, conand irreplaceable leaders fronted by Thessalonians with (Avery Dulles, Richard John a similar catalogue of woes Neuhaus, Francis Canavan, and looking for a quick answer William Smith, Thomas Dillon, Ernest Lefever, Karen Novak, Irving Kristol, to name the most publicly prominent); a season of lethal global fanaticisms unchecked by courage By George Weigel or effective statecraft; a low year in Washington, with a White (and perhaps a little payback) House scrambling to find its feet and a Congress that would in the second coming. Paul gently but firmly reminded make a carnival barker blush; “those believers who had a public square dominated by become obsessed with impasound-bites and mendacioustience (for) ‘new heavens and ness; further deteriorations in a new earth’” of what they the culture, including bizarre ought to have learned already: cults of personality; a dithat “the new history of the vided Church, many of whose world has already begun” in prominent public personalities the Resurrection, such that we seem little better catechized ought to be growing now into than toddlers; unemployed an unshakable hope and an friends, life-threatening illnesses — and the Yankees won ever-deeper love. Remember that, the apostle suggested, and the World Series. Come, Lord whenever it pleases God to Jesus, indeed. Soon. Please. send his Christ back in glory, Through the lens of Archwe’ll be found ready, “unblambishop Ravasi’s commentary,
The Catholic Difference
able in holiness.” Which is, I suppose, an elegant, Pauline way of saying, “Stop whining.” Edginess and anxiety for the future are understandable; but they’re also inappropriate for men and women who should already be living the promised renovation of the universe, in the communion of the Church with its Lord. The second coming, after all, is not intended to be an instant fix for all the things we find difficult to make right; the second coming is intended to manifest the cosmic glory of God. That bracing Pauline reminder of the “not yet” that is, or ought to be, present to us here and now is especially appropriate during this Advent/ Christmas season — a time to re-center our lives on the truth of the Incarnation and to re-discover the courage to be Catholic, for 2010 promises to be at least as challenging as the year quickly fading into
history. Marriage will remain under attack throughout the country, with those defending the classic understanding of marriage being branded as bigots. All over the world, the inalienable right to life will be assaulted in the name of autonomy and compassion. A madman who imagines himself capable of hastening the advent of the messianic age, as he (mis)understands it, may try to incinerate the Holy Land with nuclear fire. Religious freedom in Canada, Europe, and the United States will be under severe pressure from the champions of the dictatorship of relativism. Facing that, we may well say, and mean, “Come, Lord Jesus.” But as we pray daily for the Kingdom’s coming in the words the Lord left us, let Christmas remind us that he has already come, which ought to make all the difference — the Bethlehem difference. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
That old goat
Tuesday 15 December 2009 cheerfully. Your husband has — Convocation of Priests just gone to buy some bread his time of year brings and milk.” “Not that old goat,” back family memories. my mother clarified. The two One involving a goat recently women giggled like schoolgirls. popped into my head. My mother was unpacking Christmas Reflections of a ornaments with the help Parish Priest of a neighbor. She was searching through the By Father Tim boxes for a particular Goldrick decoration. It was a straw goat called a “yulbok” (Christmas goat) traditionally used in Thirty years later, I found Sweden as a kind of toy guardmyself in Rhode Island looking ian of the Christmas tree. Try as for a goat; no, not a Christmas she might, my mother couldn’t goat. I was looking for a place locate the yulbok. “Where’s that called Goat Island. On tiny Goat old goat,” she muttered more Island is a hotel. In the hotel to herself than to her neighmy bishop and all of his priests bor. “Oh, responded her friend were gathering.
The Ship’s Log
December 24, 2009
Like most dioceses across the United States, we have these convocations periodically. The priests of the Diocese of Fall River have not gathered in several years. A convocation is probably the only time that all of us are together in one room. Before I left for Goat Island, parishioner Jill Gurney asked me what exactly was a convocation. That’s not an easy question to answer. A convocation is not a retreat and not a workshop. The format is fluid, but it always involves a series of presentations by experts in some area helpful to priestly ministry. It includes the daily celebration of Mass, and the praying of the psalms
Rethinking the Crèche
espite our familiaran exhausting day, Joseph’s ity with the Christfinal suggestion was a shed, mas story, it is important and it too received a smile. to set aside the sentimental Death to warmth. charm and relive those moWith the birth of the ments with Mary. There she Child now imminent, Joseph is, enormously pregnant, gathered for Mary the cleanplodding along on the back est hay he could find. Death of a donkey — far from all to comfort. Having left the she had ever imagined. She hand-carved crib miles back, didn’t plan on a pregnancy, the Babe lay swaddled in she didn’t plan on the angel, a trough. Death to dignity. and she didn’t plan on a cenThe pungent animals moved sus, yet all three were part about restlessly, with their of God’s plan over which we overwhelming earthiness. sigh and smile. Death to atmosphere. And Have we really thought next came curious visitors, through the details? Any acpeering and poking, gapcessories the loving parents had provided for this Child were left behind — first for the trip to Bethlehem and later for the flight By Genevieve Kineke to Egypt. Instead of being surrounded by familiar faces ing and whispering. Death and solicitous friends, the to privacy. The angel choirs aching mother was far from may have filtered in — home atop a tired beast. She lending a surreal backdrop waited as Joseph forged extraordinary night. Death to ahead from door to door — normalcy. reading resignation in the And yet the Infant in the bearing of his shoulders. feeding bin came to transHis growing anxiety was no form death — to conquer it doubt checked by her ready by passing through its most smile and supportive nod at venomous stings and to each suggestion. sunder its grip on mankind. As with each Christmas The cold, the discomfort and season, our favorite crèche indignities, the total oblation has been set out and admired and drudgery were transby cheerful visitors, perhaps formed when Jesus embraced children have rearranged it each. Mary’s trust that each a few times and we’ve made detail was God’s holy will sure that all the pieces are transformed Joseph’s reswhere they belong. But every ignation to confidence as one of those pieces reprewell, and the scene of death sented a little death for the became our pleasing little Holy Family. At the end of
The Feminine Genius
Nativity set. Such trust in the details of our own lives can build a scene of quiet joy as well, but we may have to abandon our romantic notions along the way. Just as older couples can laugh at their early married years for their Spartan details, we can choose to see the virtues that God wants us to embrace amidst the trials of today. Some chapters of our lives seem overwhelmingly difficult or painful, but we don’t write the story alone. In each frame of every saga, the Christ-child looks up from his dingy shelter of poverty to say, “Peace, I am with you.” Death is bitter and oblation can be fierce, but the Holy Family stepped along that path with the assurance that God was guiding their steps. The smaller pinpricks of disappointment are like that bed of straw in which God lay — and though our larger trials take on the distinct imprint of nails, indeed he has gone there as well. When you pack the familiar set away for safe-keeping this year, perhaps each piece deserves a kiss of gratitude. Whether plastic or wooden, ceramic or glass, they show us that death to self with Christ can bear the richest of fruit — for ourselves and those we truly love. Mrs. Kineke is the author of “The Authentic Catholic Woman” (Servant Books). She can be found online at www.feminine-genius.com.
in common. There are meals, of course, and time for socializing. There is also a Chapel of Reservation for private prayer in the presence of the Eucharist. The schedule itself is somewhat laid back, but a convocation is definitely not a vacation. When a bishop calls all of his priests out of the field for a couple of days, it means that the priests cannot be in their parishes. Without a diocesan priest on duty at a parish church, the Eucharist cannot be celebrated. This includes Masses of Christian Burial. A handful of religious order priests and hospital chaplains stayed behind to provide emergency coverage and to offer at least one daily Mass in each deanery. It’s a difficult decision for any bishop to make, but priests do need to be together at some time or another. We are not Lone Rangers; we are a presbyterate of brothers sharing together in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ through the ministry of the local bishop. My assigned task was to bring not only my suitcase, but also an altar, pulpit, presider’s chair, tabernacle, etc. Since it was the season of Advent, we also needed an Advent wreath (a very large one.) Hotels do not have these items on hand. A new family had just registered in the parish. The husband, I noticed on the registration form, operated a moving company. Father Francis Connors always advised that when a new family registers in your parish, get them involved in parish life immediately. I telephoned my new parishioners, made arrangements for a van, and off we went to find Goat Island. After finishing the set-up of the prayer and worship areas in the hotel, I was unexpectedly invited by the convocation director, Father Mark Hession, to lead the first group prayer of the convocation — Evening
Prayer or Vespers. Sitting in the presider’s chair, I looked out at over a hundred of my brother priests and my bishop. There, right in front of me, was the fullness of the priesthood in the Diocese of Fall River. It was such an inspiring sight it sent chills up my spine. The presenters for this particular convocation were esteemed professors of theology from Notre Dame University, Indiana. They were “big guns.” Both, by the way, were married men with wives, children and grandchildren. These Doctors of Theology used the Book of Revelation as a springboard to hope and encouragement in our own discouraging times. The lectures bordered on the mystical. I had to stretch my mind to get hold of the concepts. It was a real workout for the mind and the soul. It felt as good as a brisk morning walk. During the time for socializing, many encouraging words were heard. One priest would go up to another priest and compliment him on some particular aspect of his ministry about which he had heard. Sincere compliments are always nice to receive, but never more so that from another priest. It gives you a warm feeling. Back at the rectory, I discovered the ancient furnace had quit again. It was only 13 degrees outside. I may not have been warm on the outside, but I was toasty and warm on the inside. Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.
December 24, 2009
Parish priest collects and preserves Christmas traditions By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff SWANSEA — While Father Timothy Goldrick, pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton, has become known as the leading authority on all things Christmas in the Fall River Diocese, he’s not the only priest you could consider the diocesan “Father Christmas” — although he does have dibs on the email address. Father Joseph F. Viveiros, one of Father Goldrick’s brother priests and a fellow crèche collector, is just as passionate about the celebration of Jesus’ birth. The pastor at St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea, Father Viveiros has amassed more than 200 Nativity sets since he began collecting them more than 30 years ago and like Father Goldrick, Father Viveiros is drawn to crèches that are unique and culturally significant. “Very often a Nativity set will reflect the culture of which it’s
from — often you’ll have costumes from the culture that the Nativity scene represents,” Father Viveiros said. “There’s also the religious significance of the birth of Jesus — so I collect them for artistic, cultural and religious value.” Father Viveiros, who along with Father Goldrick was one of the first to have his crèche collection publicly displayed at La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, said he likes Nativity sets that also tell you something about the country in which they were made. “Many of the sets I have were fashioned from indigenous materials from the country where they were made,” he said. “There’s some from Honduras that were made from plant parts; others were carved out of stone; some are made out of corn husks; while others might be made of bread dough as a part of their artistic, cultural experiences.” Father Viveiros has also made some of his Nativity sets himself
— from one as simple as a set of painted eggs within a basket to a more elaborate set molded out of polymer clay with figures that have real hair and glass eyes. “I do a piece at a time and each takes about a week to complete,” he said. Like Father Goldrick, Father Viveiros’ interest in collecting Nativity sets began when he was very young. “I had a newspaper route and I would save all my money until the end of the year and go shopping with my mother to the five and dimes and pick up the various Nativity set pieces you could buy one at a time,” Father Viveiros said. “That set I usually display on my mantel here in the rectory. These pieces came from Italy and they were made out of papier-mâché and painted with bright colors. You picked up individual pieces for 27 cents and some of them are still marked on the bottom. Today if you were to go searching for them
in antique stores or flea markets, they would go for as much as $12 each. Not a bad markup for 27 cents.” Father Viveiros is also fascinated by the various traditions and origins of Christmas and he collects stories about Santa Claus and St. Nicholas, the origins of the Christmas tree, candy canes, and putting candles in the windows. “I also collect traditions from Christmas around the world along with representations of St. Nicholas and Santa Claus and various Christmas ornaments,” he said. “I have my crèches displayed in the rectory mostly and some stay out all year long and every year I put out new ones, so there’s always a variety.” One tradition that fascinates Father Viveiros is the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” which he explained was written as a coded catechism song in England during a period when it was illegal to openly practice Catholicism. “The ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ is, in a sense, an allegory,” Father Viveiros said. “The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help Catholic children learn their faith — to better acquaint them with the Bible and its interpretation.” Father Viveiros explained how the “partridge in a pear tree” actually refers to Christ on the cross;
while the “two turtle doves” refers to the Old and New Testament; the “seven swans a-swimming” refers to the seven sacraments; and the “10 lords a-leaping” refers to the Ten Commandments. Every gift bestowed in the song refers to a specific tenet of Catholicism. The Christmas card that Father Viveiros sent out this year to his parishioners, family members and friends was also based on a popular Portuguese tradition of venerating and kissing a statue of the Christ child — a tradition that many local Portuguese parishes continue today. The card boasts a watercolor reproduction by Father Viveiros of a painting by Azorean artist Domingos Rebelo which depicts a priest holding the Christ child for veneration. But another tradition involving the baby Jesus varies depending on whom you ask. While some will insist the Christ child not be placed within the crèche before Christmas day, valued collectors like Father Viveiros prefer to keep their sets intact. He said he displays all of his Nativity sets with the baby Jesus but he knows others will wait until Christ is “born” to add him to the manger. “Father Goldrick used to keep the baby Jesus out and he lost a lot of them,” Father Viveiros said. “They can get misplaced, so I keep them together.”
Not a fairy tale, Christmas quenches thirst for peace VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christmas is not a children’s fairy tale, it is God’s answer to humanity’s thirst for real peace, Pope Benedict XVI said. Christ’s birth in Bethlehem was part of a divine plan, which is “a plan of peace,” he said De-
cember 20 before his midday recitation of the Angelus with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. “Bethlehem is also a citysymbol of peace in the Holy Land and throughout the whole world,” he said. “Unfortunately, (Bethlehem) currently does not represent an achieved and stable peace, but a peace that is arduously sought after and longed for. But God never resigns himself to this state of affairs, and so once again this year, in Bethlehem and the whole world, the mystery of Christmas will be renewed in the Church,” he said. The pope said the meaning of Christmas compels Christians to become personally involved in the human dramas and conflicts around them, acting as Jesus did to bring “to bring love where there is hatred, pardon where there is injury, joy where there is sadness, and truth where there is error.” “Today, as at the time of Jesus, Christmas is not a fairy tale for children, but is God’s answer to the drama of humanity in search of real peace,” the pope said.
December 24, 2009
Please note The Anchor will not publish January 1, 2010. The next edition will publish January 8, 2010.
CNS Movie Capsules NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Avatar” (Fox) Among the most expensive and highly anticipated films ever made, director James Cameron’s visually arresting science-fiction adventure sends a paraplegic soldier (Sam Worthington) to a planet called Pandora where he falls in love with a native princess (Zoe Saldana) and must choose between her ecologically enlightened culture and his own violent, rapacious species. Amid passages resembling a Vietnam War movie, a Western — pitting bellicose interlopers against spiritual natives in harmony with their natural environment — and a Disney animated musical, Cameron marshals impressive resources to tell an entertaining story, though whether the aliens’ pantheistic religion is meant to be a model for humanity or merely an indigenous cult remains unclear. Frightening action sequences with much intense, war-related violence, an implied sexual encounter, partial upper female and rear nudity, a consistently sensual undercurrent, frequent
The Anchor profanity, considerable crude and crass language The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” (Columbia/Relativity) Pleasant, if largely predictable, romantic comedy in which a recently separated New York couple (Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker) accidentally witness the contract killing of an arms dealer and, as part of the government’s protection program, are abruptly relocated to rural Wyoming where, sheltered and shielded by a nononsense federal marshal (Sam Elliott) and his gun-toting wife (Mary Steenburgen), they gradually discover the joys of downhome living as they reassess their relationship. Writer-director Marc Lawrence’s fish-outof-water tale is an unabashed celebration of marriage and family life and, though it features extensive discussion of the negative effects of infidelity, is mostly free of objectionable material, making it probably acceptable for older teens. Adultery and infertility themes, off-screen marital lovemaking, a few mildly sexual jokes, at least one crude and one crass term. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, December 27 at 11:00 a.m. Celebrant is Father Jay T. Maddock, pastor of Holy Family Parish in East Taunton
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Celebrant is Father Andre “Pat” Patenaude, director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro
December 24, 2009
CAMP FIRE — The only exterior evidence of a recent fire that severely damaged the administration building at the diocesan-owned Cathedral Camp in Freetown is some charring around the roof line and a blue tarp apparently concealing a hole in the roof. Camp personnel will be working out of a modular office at the camp while an assessment is made as to whether this building can be salvaged. Most of the interior had to be gutted due to fire and water damage. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)
Fire damages Cathedral Camp administration building By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff EAST FREETOWN — An afternoon fire severely damaged the administrative office building at the diocesan-owned Cathedral Camp, located at 167 Middleboro Road in East Freetown, December 15. Although the building sustained an estimated $175,000 in damages, no one was injured in the blaze as office workers had left for the day just after noon. The fire was first reported around 2:40 p.m. in a building directly adjacent to St. John Neumann Church. Neither the church nor any other camp building was damaged in the fire. “The office staff had left from the administration building, but people were here working on painting other buildings,” said assistant camp director Rena C. Lemieux. “They came out after lunch and saw the building on fire. It happened so fast, but thank God
everybody is OK and we’re going to be up and running in a few weeks.” An estimated 26 firefighters from Freetown, Rochester, Dartmouth and Berkley responded to the scene and it took them more than an hour to contain the fire that had fully engulfed the 90-year-old, 30-by150-foot wooden structure. Fire officials on the scene initially determined the fire was accidental and further investigation revealed the cause to be an electrical fire that originated in ceiling wiring. Lemieux is not yet sure whether the building can be salvaged. “It’s being gutted as we speak by SERVPRO and we’re going to find out what needs to be done after that,” she said. In the meantime, a modular office will be set up at Cathedral Camp to temporarily house the administrative offices and Lemieux wanted to stress that all scheduled retreats and camp
events will be held as no other buildings were affected by the fire. “We’re going to be up and running within a week or two,” she said. “Hopefully all phone calls will be forwarded to my cell phone shortly. We’re going to be OK.” Lemieux wanted to single out Chris Borber of the diocesan insurance office and Deacon Tom Palanza, an architectural consultant for the diocese, for their immediate assistance and support following the fire. “We’ve had wonderful support from them,” she said. “There are no words to say to you how grateful I am for all the support I’ve received from the diocese and especially from my boss, Father Gregory A. Mathias.”
Christmas Masses to be aired on TV FALL RIVER — Bishop George W. Coleman will be the principal celebrant and homilist of a Christmas Mass to be aired on ABC Channel 6 (WLNETV) on Christmas Eve at 11:35 p.m. and then again on Christmas morning at 9 o’clock. The hour-long Mass will be a delayed broadcast of the Christmas Vigil Mass celebrated at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. The Portuguese Channel will air Christmas Mass in Portuguese at 4 p.m. Christmas afternoon. That broadcast will be an airing of the Christmas Midnight Mass celebrated at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in New Bedford. The Portuguese Channel is carried on most cable television systems in the area.
December 24, 2009
The Holiness and Pentecostal churches: Come, Holy Spirit
ecall that Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, believed that perfect holiness is attainable in this life. In his model of the order of salvation, a Christian can receive a subsequent blessing after justification that bestows perfect liberation from all sin, including sinful thoughts. This teaching is called Christian perfection or “entire sanctification.” In the 1820s and ’30s, evangelist Charles Finney popularized the doctrine of entire sanctification; but whereas Wesley held that perfection is normally preceded by a lengthy period of spiritual maturation, Finney taught that it instantaneously follows conversion. By the 1860s entire sanctification was seldom mentioned in Methodist churches. When religious revivals rekindled interest in the doctrine, a national “Holiness movement” arose in Methodism; its proponents became known as “holy rollers.” Criticism by Methodist bishops led to the formation of independent Holiness churches in the 1890s. Then and now, these churches are characterized by emotionalism, swingy gospel hymns, faith healing, and a Puritanical moral code. The largest body of the Holiness movement is the Church of the Nazarene, formed in 1908 from the merger of several smaller sects whose members were drawn from Methodism. Headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, this denomination closely resembles Methodism
in doctrine, worship, and polity. “speaking in tongues,” or glossoThe Nazarenes report a worldwide lalia: sounds and syllables uttered membership of over 1.8 million, under the direction of the Holy mostly in the United States, Haiti, Spirit. The meaning of these utand India. terances is completely unintelliOther Holiness groups include gible to both the speaker and most the Free Methodist Church, the hearers. Comprehension requires Wesleyan Church, and the Chris- an additional intervention of God tian and Missionary Alliance. known as “the interpretation of None of these started off as de- tongues” (see 1 Cor 12:10). nominations but rather as moveParenthetically, medieval comments or parachurch organizations. Membership growth in the sundry Holiness churches The Fullness continues to surpass the of the Truth mainline Protestant denominations. However, By Father the world’s fastest growThomas M. Kocik ing Christian movement is Pentecostalism. With deep roots in the Holiness tradition and African mentators on the Bible understood spirituality, Pentecostalism began the gift of interpretation of tongues at the turn of the twentieth century. quite differently, as an ability eiCharles Fox Parham (1873-1929), ther to translate from one known a Methodist minister in the Holi- language into another (Hebrew ness movement and founder of into Latin, for example) or to exBethel Bible College in Topeka, plain obscure Scripture passages. Kansas, became convinced that This is not to say that they denied the story of Pentecost in Acts 2 that miraculous, ecstatic utterances is not only a description of what took place on the day of Pentecost, happened to the first generation of or that they discounted the possiChristians; it’s a blueprint of what bility of such miracles in special should happen in every genera- circumstances. tion of the Church. All Christians, The first incident of glossolalic Parham asserted, can and should utterance was at Bethel Bible in experience “baptism in the Holy 1901. Soon many of the students Spirit,” which is distinct from, and as well as Parham were speakfollows, water baptism. This sec- ing in tongues. For the next few ond baptism bestows all the gifts years, Parham and his students of Pentecost and is evidenced by carried the “Pentecostal” mes-
sage to various communities in the South and Southwest. In 1906 W. J. Seymour, who had attended a Pentecostal school in Houston, went to Los Angeles and began instructing potential converts, first in a Nazarene church, and later in a ramshackle building on Azusa Street. By year’s end Pentecostalism claimed 13,000 adherents in the United States and Canada. The Azusa Street revivals engendered the classical Pentecostalism associated with the Church of God in Christ and the Assemblies of God, the two largest Pentecostal groups, besides numberless storefront Pentecostal chapels. In the 1960s and ’70s, Pentecostallike experiences began to be seen in the mainline churches, including the Catholic Church; this was identified as the “charismatic renewal.” A good starting point for assessing the Holiness and Pentecostal accounts of salvation from a Catholic perspective might be our common belief that life in Christ is impossible without the Holy Spirit and incomplete without a special gift of the Spirit. Christians are children of the Father because they have been taken up into the life of Christ’s Sonship by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption (Rom 8:15). Christian life is to be a maturing into more perfect sonship until we grow into the full stature
of Christ (Eph 4:13). Since it is by the Holy Spirit that our adoption as sons in Christ is effected, it will be for the same Spirit to perfect that adoption. In the Catholic understanding, birth into Christian life is perfected, not by a special “baptism in the Spirit” received after water baptism, but by the sacrament of confirmation: the Spirit of adoption, already bestowed in baptism, comes in a new and abundant manner in confirmation to complete the baptismal grace of adoption. Pentecost is a unique event in the history of salvation; nonetheless, in confirmation the Christian receives the abundant outpouring of the Spirit that in some way reflects and continues the mystery of Pentecost. The Wesleyan-Holiness emphasis on sanctification and moral transformation accords with the Catholic belief that God not only forgives us but also makes us holy. Wesley believed that, for most Christians, complete sanctification takes place just before death. In other words, the work that Catholics ascribe to purgatory is, for Wesley, accomplished immediately by a unilateral act of God at death. In another historical circumstance, Wesley might have accepted the Catholic idea of sanctification after death; for purgatory seems necessary if God is to complete the job with our freedom intact. Father Kocik is a parochial vicar at Santo Christo Parish in Fall River.
Providence pastor ordained as auxiliary bishop to serve diocese PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CNS) — For the kid raised by his mother in humble circumstances on the second floor of a tenement house just a few blocks west in Providence’s Italian enclave of Federal Hill, the day’s pomp and circumstance at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul seemed a bit overwhelming. After Bishop Robert C. Evans was ordained an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Providence December 15, he smiled meekly as the audience of more than 1,200 filling the cathedral broke into applause. Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin summed up the moment as he welcomed Bishop Evans into the episcopacy. “The kid from Federal Hill has done very well,” he said to another rousing round of applause. As the long procession of clergy made its way to the sanctuary, Bishop Evans’ ailing mother, Lolita, stood in the first pew next to the main aisle so she could greet her son with a kiss. Many of the priests who have been the bishop’s friends for much of his life were there, including two Providence priests, Msgr. Raymond B. Bastia and Msgr. John
Lolio, who served as Bishop Evans’ chaplains and presented him at the beginning of the ordination rite. Three other friends were presented the gifts of the bishop’s office during the ordination ceremony. Father Jon-Paul Gallant, pastor of St. Theresa’s Church in South Attleboro of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass., presented the ring; Msgr. Kevin McCoy of the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, brought forth the miter; and Father David Norris of the Diocese of Fresno, Calif., presented the crosier. Bishop Evans opened his remarks to the crowd with a quote the pope delivered upon being chosen to head the Catholic Church: “(I am a) simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord. The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.” Bishop Evans thanked Bishop Tobin for his fraternal support, joking that while there is an anchor in his new coat-of-arms, he hoped he would not prove to be a weight around Bishop Tobin’s neck. “First and last, I remain a priest
of the Lord, not through any merit of my own, and surely not as a career choice,” said the new auxiliary, who was ordained a priest of the
new Bishop — Auxiliary Bishop Robert C. Evans smiles during his episcopal ordination at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Providence, R.I., December 15. (CNS photo)
Providence Diocese in 1973. “I believe that each and every priest can witness to the Lord’s own words
that we have not so much chosen him as he has chosen us.” But, as befits the 62-year-old bishop’s youthful sense of humor, Bishop Evans did not pass up a chance to show that doesn’t take himself too seriously. “Of course this does not discount the theory that the Lord does have a wicked sense of humor,” he added, which brought a smile to faces in the crowd. Growing up in the shadow of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, young Robert never failed to answer the call when an altar server was needed for Mass. That call usually came by way of a shout from the window of the rectory to the Evans’ second-floor apartment across the street. It was at Mount Carmel in the late 1960s that retired Bishop Daniel P. Reilly of Worcester first met the future bishop when, as a priest of the Providence Diocese, he would say Mass there. “He always had a very wonderful personality; he was always upbeat. He has that kind of spirit and that sense of ministry,” said Bishop Reilly. “The Diocese of Providence is in good hands.”
In addition to Bishop Reilly, Cardinal William H. Keeler, retired archbishop of Baltimore, and Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of Hartford, Conn., attended the episcopal ordination. Bishop Tobin addressed Providence’s new auxiliary in his homily: “My brother, at this challenging moment in your life, I encourage you to take to heart and to prayer the example of our Blessed Mother.” “This holy day marks a new beginning for you, but the future is hidden from your eyes, and the path you will walk is known to God alone,” Bishop Tobin said. “Therefore, like Mary, you must have faith and trust; you must be at peace in accepting God’s plan for you.” As the Mass ended and her son processed out of the cathedral, Lolita Evans’ told the Rhode Island Catholic, Providence’s diocesan newspaper, that although she had been in the hospital recently, she would not have missed the moment for anything. “I’m walking on air right now,” said the 87-year-old mother of the new auxiliary bishop. “I haven’t hit bottom yet, and I don’t think I will.”
December 24, 2009
Cost of slots too high, new group says B y C hristine W illiams A nchor C orrespondent BOSTON — With flashing lights, an array of sounds and the ability to handle 100 bets at one time, the modern slot machine hardly resembles the original one-armed, fruitadorned gaming device. According to information on the website for United to Stop the Slots Massachusetts, the first slot machine, with three wheels and 15 symbols, was invented in the 1800s. The odds for the jackpot was one in 1,000, and the payout was 50 cents. The trend from there was to increase the number of wheels and symbols as well as the payout, all the while decreasing the odds of winning. By 1970, the chance of hitting the jackpot was one in 10,648. In 1984, the first microchip slot machine was invented. Because algorithms, not mechanical wheels, determined the outcome of every spin, it was possible to decrease the odds of hitting a jackpot without changing the look of slot machines. For example, a machine may appear to have four sevens on a reel while the mathematical equation contains only one. Machines are also programmed to give carefully timed nearwins and small payouts in order to entice a gambler to keep playing. Those seeking to make a profit with slot machines have studied everything from its appearance to the seat ergonomics in an effort to increase time spent at the device. Gamblers
are encouraged to “play to extinction” — until their money is gone. And today’s machines take credit cards. The modern slot machine brings in 70 to 80 percent of all casino revenue. And casinos make more than 80 percent of their profits from 10 percent of players. The debate to expand gambling to casinos in Massachusetts has been going on for decades. In late October this year, the state legislature held its first hearing on expanded gambling since 2007. New speaker of the house, Robert DeLeo, has said he expects to have an expanded gambling bill on the governor’s desk by early 2010. Kathleen Norbut, president of USS, said that the longterm cost of casinos — which includes social ills, increased demand for law enforcement and regulation costs — needs to be reevaluated in an independent study. Studies have shown that 30 percent of casino-goers are harmed by their gambling, she said. “The purpose of government is the protection of people,” she said. “What other consumer product would we allow in our Commonwealth that we know is going to destroy the lives of 30 percent of its users?” In 2000, the study “Casinos, Crime and Community Costs,” found that casinos increase rates of rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft. An-
other study commissioned by Congress in 1999 found that domestic violence and foreclosure rates increased. Norbut added that current predictions of the benefits of expanded gambling — that tens of thousands of jobs will be created and one billion dollars currently spent in out-ofstate casinos will be recaptured — overstate the benefits. A report authored by state representative Thomas Conroy, member of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, found the revenue benefits of casinos do not exceed the costs associated with decreased lottery revenue. The state lottery would likely decrease by $200 million, and potential tax revenues for casinos are likely approximately $200 million, not the $400 million predicted by backers. Conroy acknowledges that thousands of jobs would be created, but said the median salary would be $20,000. He recommended that a “more impartial, uninterested, statistically rigorous analysis” be conducted. After meeting with the USS this month, Gov. Deval Patrick recommended the same in a letter he sent to Senate president Therese Murray and speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. He also expressed his opposition to slot parlors and other forms of “convenience gambling.” Two years ago, Gov. Patrick recommended that three casi-
nos be built in the metropolitan Boston, southeastern and western regions of the state. Legislators at the State House defeated his bill last year. The USS coalition came together just five months ago, and earlier this month the group hosted an event at Faneuil Hall, “The Case for the Commonwealth Against Slots and Casinos.” On December 10, current and former lawmakers as well as concerned citizens voiced their opposition to expanded gambling. Sen. Susan Tucker of Andover, said casino revenue is an unstable and regressive tax that is expensive to collect due to the need for regulation. No state that has introduced casinos has solved its financial woes. In fact, states with casinos like Connecticut and New Jersey have more budget problems and higher taxes than Massachusetts, she added. “We cannot gamble our way out of budget problems,” she said. “Casino gambling violates every single characteristic of solid revenue policy.” Former governor Michael Dukakis and his wife, Kitty Dukakis, agreed. Michael Dukakis said the state government needs to better plan for the future so that lawmakers will not be tempted by the fast cash of implementing casinos the next time there is a recession. After the recession is over, the government should invest in a “rainy day fund” and pay down debt in order to ensure long-term stability. “But we don’t do that. We lower taxes,” he said. “We will find ourselves in this trap over and over again.” Taxes have been cut 40 times since he left office in 1991, he said. At Faneuil Hall, leaders in the anti-casino movement urged ordinary citizens to let their representatives know about the costs of expanded gambling. They also encouraged them to tell their friends about the dangers since many do not understand that casino gambling is predatory. A poll of 500 residents, conducted by The Boston Globe in 2007, showed that 53 percent favored Gov. Patrick’s casino proposal. A minority, 45 percent, said they believed gambling would bring negative social consequences. The numbers also indicated that residents did not want casinos in their home communities. At the USS event, Alan Khazei, the co-founder of
City Year who recently ran for Sen. Ted Kennedy’s open Senate seat, asked the crowd, “If you don’t want it in your backyard, is it fair to put it in somebody else’s?” Khazei added that once legalized, casinos are like cockroaches — difficult to get rid of. In Australia, casinos were brought in a during tough economic time, and a recent poll found that 80 percent of Australians want the casinos gone, he said. Jim Rubens, a Republican and member of New Hampshire’s Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling, said once gambling enters a state, a “race to the bottom” begins. When revenues decrease, more slots are added to more places. Then, neighboring states legalize casinos in an effort to compete. “You will end up with this in your community,” he said. “It won’t end until we’re saturated to the gills.” Rubens added that casinos are a “jobs cannibalism” and “profit exportation.” New jobs created merely replace positions at nearby businesses that fail, and most revenue will travel to out-of-state and even out-of-country investors. Speculators and town officials in cities across the state have spoken out in favor of casinos. Cities named include Chicopee, Marlborough, Milford, New Bedford, Palmer and Warren. Racing tracks have supported adding slot machines to their facilities. In addition, there are two federally-recognized Native American tribes in the Commonwealth — which have expressed interest in building casinos. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe would like to build a casino with 4,000 slot machines in Middleboro. The town has already approved a deal, but the state would have to allow casinos before the project could begin. Even if the tribe sought the federal application process, the law states that tribes can only open casinos within states that already allow slot machines. Norbut told The Anchor that all this speculation is premature. The outcome is yet to be determined. “It’s almost like a whack-amole game at the arcade,” she added. “Every time this has been debated in the Commonwealth, it has been defeated,” she said. “It is not inevitable. It is up to us.”
December 24, 2009
n eight-year-old secondgrader in Taunton drew a stick-figure of a crucifix — Christ on the cross — and wrote his name above it. His public school teacher discovered the drawing on December 2. According to the Taunton school superintendent as reported in the Boston Globe, the teacher saw the drawing as a potential cry for help when the boy identified himself, rather than Jesus, on the cross. The teacher then alerted the school’s principal and staff psychologist. According to the child’s mother as reported in the Boston Herald, the boy was not allowed to return to school until he received a psychological evaluation. According to both parents, as the Herald likewise reported on December 16, “officials at the Lowell M. Maxham School were concerned the boy’s drawing of Jesus nailed to the cross suggested possible violent tendencies. The boy was allowed to return to class December 7 after a twoday risk assessment by Taunton licensed social worker Helene
The scandal of Christmas
Titelbaum reported, “The boy and tradition. The celebration does not appear to be a threat to of Christmas used to be illegal himself or others at this time.” in Puritan Massachusetts, since This time of year is notable it was viewed as both too papist for celebrating Christmas, and (Christmas means Christ Mass, there is no lack of those who are after all) and too pagan (too shocked and scandalized by the much food, drink, gift-giving, Incarnation, the idea that God leisure and all-round fun). Jehobecame man for our salvation. As St. Bernard preached on Christmas Eve in the 12h century, “Are we to believe that the one who is laid in the manger, who cries in his By Dwight Duncan cradle, who suffers all the indignities children have to suffer, who is scourged, who is spat vah’s Witnesses do not celebrate upon, who is crucified, who is Christmas (or even birthdays laid in the sepulcher and shut in general) for much the same away between two stones, is the reason. high and immeasurable God?” It was St. Francis of AsThe ACLU views Christmas sisi in the 13th century who displays on public property — was responsible for staging the manger scenes or crèches — to first manger scene in Greccio, be a violation of the constitution- Italy. He was also known for his al separation of church and state. devotion to the crucifix, which Lawsuits to that effect proliferis deeply rooted in Catholic tradiate this time of year. And yet tion. If God really became man Christmas and manger scenes are in Jesus Christ, he really gave deeply rooted in Catholic belief his life for us on the cross. Some
Judge For Yourself
Protestants, however, heirs of the traditions of Judaism, Islam, and the heresy of iconoclasm, react against the human figure of Jesus affixed to the cross. They prefer to adorn their churches with empty crosses (and the Mormons, while claiming to be Christian, don’t use crosses at all.) Today, no less than in St. Paul’s time, the cross is a scandal and a folly. And so the incident in Taunton, whatever its exact contours, should not surprise us. The cross of Jesus is shocking, even more shocking than his crib. Both bespeak bare poverty and rejection by the powers that be, but also love carried to extremes. “Greater love than this no one has, that he lay down his life for his friend” (Jn 15:13). The day after Christmas we celebrate the first martyr, St. Stephen, and shortly thereafter the Holy Innocents and St. Thomas Becket, all martyrs. Jesus taught us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and fol-
low him. St. Bernard comments, in another of his Christmas Eve sermons, “Perhaps we are that cross on which we remember Christ having been fastened. A human being has the shape of a cross, and if we extend our hands we show this quite clearly.” As St. Josemaria Escriva suggested in his 1939 spiritual classic “The Way”: “Whenever you see a poor, wooden cross, alone, uncared for, worthless ... and without a corpus, don’t forget that that cross is your cross — the everyday hidden cross, unattractive and unconsoling — the cross that is waiting for the corpus it lacks: and that corpus must be you.” It seems a bit exaggerated to think that such thoughts and images, commonplace in the Catholic tradition and indeed among canonized saints, require psychological evaluation or could constitute a threat to oneself or others. Dwight Duncan is a professor at Southern New England School of Law in North Dartmouth. He holds degrees in civil and canon law.
Like the tree, Christ’s light should shine from Christians, says pope By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — Christians are called to be like a brightly adorned Christmas tree and shine forth Christ’s brilliant light to the world, Pope Benedict XVI said. The faithful must show with their “good fruits” of living a Christian life that the world was “truly visited and redeemed by the Lord,” he told representatives of Belgium’s Wallonia region who donated the 98-foot spruce tree adorning St. Peter’s Square. The pope held an audience December 18 at the Vatican with a large group of civil and religious leaders from the Belgian region — a region that produces up to four million Christmas trees each year and exports 80 percent of them. The pope said that of the multitude of trees in the forest, one was chosen to stand majestically in St. Peter’s Square, be lit and “covered with glittering decorations, which are like marvelous fruit.” “Leaving behind its dark dress for a sparkling glow, (the tree) is transformed, it becomes the bearer of a light that is not its own but gives witness to the true light that comes to this world,” he said. The tree, like the shepherds, keeps watch in the dark night, “illuminated by the angels’ message” of Jesus’ birth, said the pope. “The destiny of this tree is also
comparable to ours, we who are called to bear good fruits in order to show the world that it has been truly visited and redeemed by the Lord,” he said. Together with the Nativity scene, the tree shows “the presence of a great mystery” that took place in the poor and simple
birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem, he said. The 90-year-old tree was trimmed with yellow and white lights and some 2,000 gold and silver ornaments. In addition to donating the towering tree for the square, the delegation from Wallonia also
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gave 40 smaller Christmas trees to decorate various rooms and offices throughout Vatican City. The tree was lighted by a Belgian boy and girl during an early evening ceremony in St. Peter’s Square with Cardinal Giovanni
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real live american history — The fifth-graders at St. Mary’s-Sacred Heart School, North Attleboro, recently completed a study on Native American history and culture. Each student made an owner stick, a Native American version of a “name tag” made by some Plains and Eastern groups. The stick depicts their “animal” and other attributes that identify the individual. Each student also chose a specific tribe, completed a research paper, and constructed a diorama that depicted the dress, housing, and daily life of their chosen Native American nation. At left, Tony Decesare (Strong Bear with Proud Heart) shares a Lakota song. Right, Jacob Daniels displays his project on the Pequots, an Eastern group located in Connecticut.
mEXICAN TRADITION — Third-grade students at Holy Name School, Fall River, recently completed their Las Posadas — A Service of Shelter for the Holy Family. Las Posadas service, a traditional Mexican Advent celebration meaning “the inns,” is a remembrance of the difficult journey of Mary and Joseph through the streets of Bethlehem. The traditional celebration includes a procession led by children to different houses (classrooms) pleading to be let in. At first they are turned down, but eventually the doors are opened and the festivities move inside.
a merciful army — Fifth-graders from Holy Trinity School in West Harwich recently purchased gifts for their Salvation Army child. They raised more than $200 towards their child. It is was the 12th year working with the Salvation Army and helping to make a child’s Christmas brighter along with a good lesson for all of the children.
December 24, 2009
KP duty — Students at Bishop Stang High School, North Dartmouth, recently gathered food items in homerooms, leading to the day when the Student Council takes over the cafeteria to carve turkeys, peel potatoes, and pack food baskets. Students have been providing the holiday dinner for the lonely and the homeless for more than 30 years. Turkeys, vegetables, pies, and cookies were bussed to the Market Ministries homeless shelter in New Bedford, and food baskets were delivered to St. Vincent’s Home in Fall River for disadvantaged families. Here student council members peel potatoes.
no bones about it — Senior Anatomy and Physiology students at Coyle and Cassidy High School in Taunton are studying the human skeleton, utilizing a hands-on approach. Student pairs choose a partner as a model to measure approximate bone size. Each bone of the human skeleton is carefully drawn and cut out of construction paper. All bones are attached in anatomical position in order to create a life-like skeletal model. Muscle groups will be added as well at a later day. Skeletons are displayed throughout the building. This lesson teaches students correct anatomical relationships of bones, utilizing a 3D model framework. Here Kaitlyn Dary measures Nikki King.
that figures — The Bishop Feehan High School Math Team recently competed in the 22nd annual Invitational Math Meet at Worcester Poly Institute. Senior Sean Mansfield was the Attleboro school’s high scorer. Students from more than 100 schools competed as a team and individually. Bishop Feehan has participated since its inception 22 years ago. From left: Michael North, Stephanie Geiger, Mansfield, and Joseph Skerry.
wonder what the shepherds did next. The Gospel of Luke doesn’t tell us. The shepherds were keeping watch over the flock and the next thing they know, there’s an angel right there and a brightness shining on them that is likened to the glory of the Lord, and an announcement of the birth of the Messiah. Then, to top it off, a multitude of angels show up praising God. Of course they ran to see Messiah. They “went in haste” to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph with the infant in a manger just as the angels had described. But then what? I can’t imagine that they just headed back to the fields like nothing happened. Let’s face it, those shepherds were changed forever. When we are touched by the divine, we can never be the same. Did they shear one of the sheep to give
some wool to Mary? Did they ing to that manger, to that offer some goat’s milk? Did night in the fields, to the house someone open up their home where the wise men visited to give the new family a warm the newborn king. And I’m place to stay for a while? wondering what the rest of the And the wise men … how story would be. I know that I were their lives different once am different because I have they went home? How can you been in the presence of God. meet God and stay the same? I am changed forever through You can’t. Even the way they went home had to be different, and I’m sure that was just a hint of things to come. Mind you, this is before MapQuest or GPS devises. There was By Jean Revil probably a mid-wife, too … can you imagine helping to bring the Son of God into the world. Tell the sacraments, through the me that isn’t a life-changing grace and blessings God pours experience. into my life daily, through the My mind has been wanderawareness that God is present ing in this last week of Advent with me always … although I as I prepare for celebrating am more aware some moments the Incarnation. I’m wanderthan others. I am changed for-
Be Not Afraid
Mississippi fifth-grader is voice of main character in Disney film By Fabvienen Taylor Catholic News Service JACKSON, Miss. — At the end of the first nine weeks of classes when report cards went out from St. Richard Catholic School, Elizabeth Dampier’s mother, Jeanna, went in for the usual parent-teacher conference. “She wanted to meet us and say hello,” said Krista Garrard, Elizabeth’s fifth-grade teacher. “During the conference I told her I loved to hear Elizabeth talk in class and read out loud. I told her Elizabeth had a very soothing, very good voice,” said Garrard, who hears more than 100 voices a day at school. That was when Garrard discovered she was not the only one impressed with Elizabeth’s voice. As a matter of fact, the girl’s mother told her Elizabeth “was in this movie, ‘The Princess and the Frog.’” That was in October and most of Elizabeth’s fellow students didn’t know she was going to be in Disney’s new animated movie, the teacher said. In the first weekend of its December 11 release, it earned $25 million, making it the No. 1 movie in the country. It’s a new twist on the fairy tale “The Frog Prince.” It features an African-American princess and is set in New Orleans in the 1920s. Elizabeth, 10, told the Mississippi Catholic, newspaper of the Jackson Diocese, that her parents told her not to “go around bragging about being in this movie.” “I said, ‘Yes ma’am.’ Later
December 24, 2009
my mother told me I could start opening up about it,” said Elizabeth, who voices Tiana, the film’s heroine, as a young child. The older Tiana is voiced by Anika Noni Rose. Elizabeth started auditioning for the part about three years ago. Garrard described Elizabeth’s family as “very private. Elizabeth is a very humble child, a very good student, eager to please. She does not brag about herself at all.” On December 11, Elizabeth, her classmates, teacher and some of her friends from another Catholic school attended a special preview of the film at a local theater. Morgan Sellers, 11, sat next to Elizabeth at the movie. Morgan was one of the first people Elizabeth told about being in the film. “I wanted to sit by her and cheer her on,” said Morgan. “I loved the movie and I told her she did a great job.” That afternoon Elizabeth’s classmates peppered her with questions about everything from how the Disney studio looked in New Orleans to whether she was ever at times nervous to how it felt walking the red carpet and meeting people like Oprah Winfrey at the premiere in Los Angeles. Elizabeth also did “a show and tell” for her class with posters, T-shirts and other memorabilia from the movie. Arthur and Jeanna Dampier, 1988 graduates of St. Joseph School in Jackson, first noticed their daughter’s talent performing in school and church events .
From there they contacted a local agent, who scheduled some acting classes and set up auditions. Elizabeth also took lessons in voice, piano and dance and appeared in commercials. But learning and earning good grades is high on Elizabeth’s parents’ list of priorities. “We always make sure she stays focused first on her relationship with God, her relationship with her family and then her schoolwork,” said Jeanna Dampier. “(Elizabeth’s) acting and performing, we use not only as an outlet (for her) but, if her grades are not where they need to be, she definitely will not be performing. She knows that,” she added. Two of her younger siblings enjoy performing and have appeared in some commercials and a local television production. After auditioning an being called back to audition two more times for the Disney film, Elizabeth landed the part of the younger Tiana in April 2008. “We emphasize with her it is a blessing and an honor for her to be selected to be a part of this movie, to be the first AfricanAmerican princess. Elizabeth understands the significance of it,” said her mother. Garrard said Elizabeth’s classmates “have been very kind and excited for her. I have not seen any jealousy.” She added, “Elizabeth is the total-package kid. She’s involved in her church, very kind, very smart and she has great dreams.”
ever in the knowledge that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. I can’t imagine what my life would be without having received that gift. It has defined me and continues to direct my life. I can’t wait to see what’s next. What about you? What is the rest of the story in your life? Having been baptized, you are changed forever. You have been claimed for Christ. When you receive Communion, each and every time, the Body, Blood, soul and divinity of Christ enters into your very being. How can that leave you the same? I find it amazing that we are still able to stand and walk back to our pews knowing the intimacy of God’s embrace at that moment. How are we able to move at all hav-
ing taken God into us? If you are confirmed, you have been strengthened by the Spirit for this Christian way of life. You are different, without question. And now what? How will this difference be lived out? At the publication of this issue of The Anchor, we complete our Advent preparations and begin the Christmas season. Perhaps over these next two weeks of Christmas we can reflect on the answer to these questions. I believe we are changed forever through the Word made flesh … but each of us must live the change. May this Christmas season reveal to you new and creative ways to do just that. Blessed Christmas. Jean Revil teaches theology and is campus minister at Bishop Stang High School. Comments welcome at: jrevil@bishopStang.
Pope says even scholars must be humble enough to worship baby Jesus VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI said he knows it is tempting for a university student or professor to resist being humble enough to approach the baby Jesus with awe. But the Christmas manger is precisely where “each one of us can discover the truth about God and about the human person, about ourselves,” the pope told Rome university students and professors December 17 as he celebrated evening prayer with them in St. Peter’s Basilica. Humanity encounters God “in that baby, born of the virgin,” the pope said. “The human yearning for eternal life softened the heart of God, who was not ashamed to take on the human condition.” But, he said, too many people — in Jesus’ time as well as today — are ashamed to adopt the humility needed to recognize and accept God’s love. Pope Benedict’s homily focused on the “O Antiphon” for the day’s celebration of evening prayer: “O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge.” He told the students and professors that “the Christian paradox consists precisely in identifying divine wisdom — the eternal word — with the man Jesus of Nazareth and his story.” Whether studying math
or science or art history or literature, a truly Christian scholar conducts all of his or her research trying to catch the glimpses of divine wisdom present in everything, the pope said. “I cannot avoid making a reflection that might be a bit uncomfortable, but useful for those of us who are here and mostly belong to an academic environment,” said the pope, who was a university professor. “On Christmas night, who was at the grotto in Bethlehem?” the pope asked. “Who ran to see him, recognized him and adored him? Not the doctors of the law, the scribes or the wise. Mary and Joseph were there, and the shepherds.” The fact that God chose to reveal the savior to the meek and humble does not mean there is anything wrong with studying, the pope said. It simply means that even while pursuing knowledge, Christians must maintain the attitude of “the little ones: a humble and simple spirit.” At the end of the service, a delegation of Australian university students passed over to a delegation of African university students and icon of Mary, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom. The icon will travel to different universities in Africa before being taken to Madrid, Spain, for World Youth Day 2011.
This moss still grows on me
id Randy Moss silence his critics last Sunday in Buffalo? Do he really have to? Moss was accused by many self-proclaimed football experts of “dogging it,” in the previous game, a lack-luster win against the Jaguars in Foxboro. Despite the verbal attack on his character and work ethic, and despite the resurrection of transgressions past, Randy kept his cool and his mouth shut. It was his teammates and a few sports By Dave Jolivet media gurus who came to Moss’ defense. From owner Bob Kraft down through Coach Bill Belichick, QB Tom Brady, and other teammates, they all had no question Moss is still a great comrade who does what he can to help the Patriots win. Folks said Moss “stepped up his game,” against the Bills in Buffalo Sunday. He didn’t have to “step up his game.” The only difference in this Sunday’s performance compared with the previous week’s was the play calling. Maybe the Pats send Moss over the middle much more this week to give him more catches — not to appease his ego, but to clam up the critics.
Moss made several outstanding catches in chilly Buffalo, but that should come as no surprise. He has been doing that since he became a Patriot, and long before that. Perhaps he’s been a malcontent in other football franchises, but not here, and those who question his heart and hustle should perhaps lace up a pair of his cleats and experience what Randy goes through every football weekend. It’s pretty easy to trash someone when they don’t have to measure up to the same standards because they don’t even play the game. Earlier this season, I wasn’t feeling very good about the Patriots’ chances in the playoffs, but I’m becoming more confident that they are going to surprise some people before the big dance is over. And Randy Moss will play a big role in that. When you look up the word quitter in the dictionary, you won’t find Randy Moss’ mug shot — Manny Ramirez maybe, but not Moss. Here’s wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and 2010. See you next year.
My View From the Stands
December 24, 2009
The Anchor news briefs Catholic university starts program to supply needed religion teachers WASHINGTON (CNS) — Creighton University has initiated a new program to help meet the need U.S. Catholic schools say they have for qualified religion teachers. This year the Jesuit university in Omaha, Neb., initiated what is believed to be the first program whose sole purpose is to train students to teach religion in Catholic elementary and secondary schools. The university now offers a two-year master’s degree in theology with a teaching certificate and a combined five-year bachelor’s and master’s degree in theology with a teaching certificate. A recent national survey about religion teacher preparation conducted by Creighton found that a majority of Catholic high school administrators said there are not enough qualified religion teacher candidates to meet the need their schools currently have for such teachers. “The Next Generation: A Study of Catholic High School Religion Teachers,” which involved 1,089 teachers at 195 Catholic high schools selected at random from across the nation, found that Catholic high school religion teachers are less qualified than other public and private school teachers in terms of academic preparation, pedagogical training and teaching experience. The study also found that today 40 percent of full-time religion teachers had a master’s degree in theology/religious studies/religious education, compared to 57 percent in 1985. The difference probably corresponds with the decline in vowed religious teaching theology, said Creighton’s Timothy Cook, the education professor who conducted the study. “This shortage of religion teachers often results in school principals asking teachers of other subjects to teach religion,” Cook said in a telephone interview with Catholic News Service. Pope elevates West Virginia co-cathedral to minor basilica CHARLESTON, W.Va. (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has elevated the CoCathedral of the Sacred Heart in Charleston to the status of a minor basilica. Although Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston only recently received the decree for the co-cathedral’s title of basilica minor from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments recently, it was dated November 9, the solemnity of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. Bishop Bransfield called the designation “a beautiful gift for the parish” and said it “distinguishes the Charleston community as well as the entire Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.” The Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is the 63rd minor basilica designated in the U.S. There are four major basilicas in the world, all in Rome. Minor basilicas enjoy special rights and privileges; plenary indulgences may be bestowed on Catholics on specific days. The Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart was first established as a parish on Aug. 1, 1866. It has continued to function as a parish, even through its Oct. 4, 1974, designation as the co-cathedral of the diocese. The current structure was begun with the laying of the cornerstone on July 28, 1895, by Bishop Patrick J. Donahue. It was dedicated Dec. 25, 1897, and the first Mass was celebrated in the church on the same day. In 1974, renovations were carried out to accommodate the liturgical changes introduced by the Roman Missal of 1970. More recent renovations include construction of an addition to the church and the installation of the “Annunciation” and “Tree of Life” sculptures in the basilica’s meditation gardens.
Tourism to Holy Land promoted as a way to bring peace to Middle East JERUSALEM (CNS) — Pilgrimage to the Holy Land can become a bridge to peace, said an Israeli tourism official, noting the positive effect the spring pilgrimage of Pope Benedict XVI had on creating cooperation between Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli officials. “There are many disputes in the Holy Land but something we don’t have disputes about is when it comes to pilgrims,” Rafi Ben Hur, deputy director general of the Israeli Tourist Ministry, said during a December 16 press conference. He said Israeli and Palestinian tourism officials have been working together to promote the region as a pilgrimage destination. There also has been cooperation with Jordanian tourism officials, he said. “We are putting our first priority on pilgrimage; pilgrimage in particular is a bridge to peace,” he said, citing how the Holy Land visit of Pope Benedict XVI in May created “tremendous” cooperation between Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian tourism officials. The papal visit has helped attract pilgrims despite the worldwide economic slump, he said. Israel also was endorsing Bethlehem as an important part of the pilgrimage experience with tour operators abroad, he explained. “Here is an opportunity to show that it is safe (to go to Bethlehem) and this once-in-a-lifetime opportu-
nity should be taken,” he said. Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov saw Christian religious leaders not only as “real friends” in the endeavor to promote the Holy Land as a pilgrimage site, but “real partners in creating bonds with Israel and her neighbors.” “Tourism and pilgrimage can be a real uniting force through joint economic interests and job creation,” he said The year 2009 was another peak year in tourism with nearly three million visitors expected to make the trip to Israel by the end of the year. Misezhnikov said about a third of them also have visited Bethlehem. “A peak year in Israel also translates into a peace year in the Palestinian Authority,” Misezhnikov said. Israeli tourism officials expect some 70,000 visitors during the Christmas holiday. With the improving economic and security situation Civil Administration Bethlehem DCO Commander Lt.-Col. Eyad Sirhan said he expects that travel permits over the monthlong Christmas holiday season would be given to all Palestinian Christians who request them as long as they meet security requirements. Israel also was considering giving permits to 100 Christians from Gaza. Christian citizens of Israel will be able to cross freely into Bethlehem during that period.
Around the Diocese 12/26
Courage, a welcoming support group for Catholics wounded by same-sex attraction who gather to seek God’s wisdom, mercy and love, will next meet Saturday at 7 p.m. For location information, call Father Richard Wilson at 508-992-9408.
Sunday at 3 p.m., the Cathedral Adult and Youth Choirs will present the 14th Annual Christmas Carol Sing at Holy Rosary Church, 120 Beattie Street in Fall River. The choirs will offer a few selections but most of the one-hour program is intended as a sing-along for all present. There is no admission charge and all are welcome to bring family and friends.
The Pro-Life Prayer groups of Holy Trinity and Holy Redeemer parishes will host a holy hour December 28 at 1 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, Route 28, West Harwich. The rosary will be followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
A meeting of the Divorced and Separated Support Group will take place at the Family Life Center, 500 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth on December 30 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The evening will be an open discussion for each person to freely expound on their holiday experience. For information call 508-999-6420.
A Day With Mary will take place January 2 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Our Lady’s Chapel, 600 Pleasant Street, New Bedford. It will include a video, instruction, a procession and crowning of Mary, along with Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the sacrament of reconciliation. For information call 508-984-1823.
A Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend is scheduled for New England on January 8-10. For information or to make reservations, call 1-800-710-WWME or visit www.wwmema.org.
The Catholic Cancer Support Group of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville, will meet January 12 at the parish center at 7 p.m. The meeting begins with Mass and anointing of the sick, followed by guest speaker Dr. Molly Sullivan, a radiation oncologist. For information call Mary Lees at 508-771-1106 or the parish office at 508-775-5744.
December 24, 2009
A concert featuring Father “Pat” Patenaude from La Salette Shrine will be held at St. Julie Billiart Parish, 494 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth on February 7 at 2 p.m. For tickets, call 508-996-5267 or 508-999-7290.
“There is a clear indication of improving economic and security conditions in the West Bank and that makes it easier to ease restrictions,” he said. He said soldiers and police officers who will be staffing the border crossings into Bethlehem during Christmas will receive daily briefings explaining the significance of the holiday and the correct procedure for allowing pilgrims, religious leaders and local Israeli and Palestinian Christians to cross the borders easily.
In Your Prayers
Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese Acushnet — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays end with Evening Prayer and Benediction at 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays end with Benediction at 2:45 p.m. Brewster — Eucharistic adoration takes place in the La Salette Chapel in the lower level of Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road, on First Fridays following the 11 a.m. Mass until 7:45 a.m. on the First Saturday of the month, concluding with Benediction and Mass. Buzzards Bay — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Margaret Church, 141 Main Street, every first Friday after the 8 a.m. Mass and ending the following day before the 8 a.m. Mass. EAST TAUNTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place First Fridays at Holy Family Church, 370 Middleboro Avenue, following the 8:30 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 8 p.m. FAIRHAVEN — St. Mary’s Church, Main St., has a First Friday Mass each month at 7 p.m., followed by a Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration. Refreshments follow. FALL RIVER — St. Anthony of the Desert Church, 300 North Eastern Avenue, has eucharistic adoration Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on the first Sunday of the month from noon to 4 p.m.
Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks
HYANNIS — A Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration will take place each First Friday at St. Francis Xavier Church beginning at 4 p.m.
Dec. 28 Rev. Charles R. Smith, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Fall River, 1955 Rev. Edward J. Sharpe, Pastor, St. Patrick, Somerset, 1987 Rev. Clement Paquet, O.P., Assistant, St. Anne, Fall River, 1987 Dec. 29 Rev. Msgr. J. Armand Levasseur, Retired Pastor, St. Anne, New Bedford, 1969 Rev. Rafeal Flammia, SS.CC., Retired Pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption, New Bedford, 1993 Dec. 30 Rev. Thomas C. Mayhew, Pastor, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Seekonk, 1991 Jan. 1 Rev. Jose Valeiro, Pastor, St. Elizabeth, Fall River, 1955 Rev. Antonio M. Fortuna, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, New Bedford, 1956 Rev. Francis R. Connerton, SS. STD., St. John’s Seminary, Plymouth, Michigan, 1968 Rev. Leo T. Sullivan, Pastor, Holy Name, New Bedford, 1975 Jan. 4 Rev. Eugene L. Dion, Pastor, Blessed Sacrament, Fall River, 1961 Rev. Joseph L. Powers, Founder, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, No. Falmouth, 1999 Rev. Francis B. Connors, Retired Pastor, Our Lady of Victory, Centerville, 2003 Jan. 5 Rev. William McClenahan, SS.CC. Former Pastor, Holy Redeemer, Chatham, 1994 Jan. 6 Rev. James F. Roach, Founder, Immaculate Conception, Taunton, 1906 Rev. Rene G. Gauthier, Pastor, St. Jean Baptiste, Fall River, 1997 Rev. Augustine J. Peverada, C.S.C., Teacher and Missionary, 2008 Jan. 7 Rev. Alfred R. Forni, Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi, New Bedford, 1970 Rev. Gustave Gosselin, M.S., La Salette Shrine, Attleboro, 1989 Rev. Jude Morgan, SS.CC., Former Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes, Wellfleet, 2003 Rev. Raymond A. Robida, 2003 Jan. 8 Rev. John Kelly, Founder, St. Patrick, Fall River, 1885 Rev. Alfred J. Carrier, Founder, St. Jacques, Taunton, 1940 Rev. Arthur C. Lenaghan, USA Chaplain, Killed in Action, 1944 Rev. Evaristo Tavares, Retired, Our Lady of the Angels, Fall River, 2000 Rev. Louis Joseph, U.S. Air Force, 2000 Jan. 9 Rev. William F. Morris, Pastor, Corpus Christi, Sandwich, 1982 Jan. 10 Rev. Jourdain Charron, O.P., Dominican Priory, Fall River, 1919 Rev. George H. Flanagan, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Fall River, 1938 Rev. Msgr. Emmanuel Sousa de Mello, Retired Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes, Taunton, 1977
NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic adoration takes place 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 233 County Street, with night prayer and Benediction at 8:45 p.m., and confessions offered during the evening. NEW BEDFORD — There is a daily holy hour from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue. It includes adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the rosary, and the opportunity for confession. SEEKONK — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish has eucharistic adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508336-5549. NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place every First Friday at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring Street following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with Benediction at 6 p.m. The rosary is recited Monday through Friday at the church from 7:30 to 8 a.m. OSTERVILLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 76 Wianno Avenue on First Fridays following the 8 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 5 p.m. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed at 4:45 p.m.; on the third Friday of the month from 1 p.m. to Benediction at 5 p.m.; and for the Year For Priests, the second Thursday of the month from 1 p.m. to Benediction at 5 p.m. Taunton — Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place every First Friday at Annunciation of the Lord Church, 31 First Street, immediately following the 8 a.m. Mass and continues throughout the day. Confessions are heard from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., concluding with recitation of the rosary and Benediction at 6:30 p.m. Taunton — Eucharistic adoration takes place every Tuesday at St. Anthony Church, 126 School Street, following the 8 a.m. Mass with prayers including the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for vocations, concluding at 6 p.m. with Chaplet of St. Anthony and Benediction. Recitation of the rosary for peace is prayed Monday through Saturday at 7:30 a.m. prior to the 8 a.m. Mass. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street, holds perpetual eucharistic adoration. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716. WOODS HOLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Joseph’s Church, 33 Millfield Street, year-round on weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No adoration on Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays. For information call 508-274-5435.
December 24, 2009
Regis College in Weston extends everyone Seasonâ€™s Greetings!