Diocese of Fall River
F riday , December 3, 2010
Bishop, diocesan faithful join pope in vigil for human life By Rebecca Aubut Anchor Staff
North Dartmouth — On November 27, Pope Benedict XVI began Advent by celebrating a solemn vigil for all nascent human life at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The pope asked that all diocesan bishops of every church preside over similar celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, as a reminder
to all Catholics of the necessity and power of prayer to protect human life. The pope prayed for the unborn and their parents, for an end to abortion and research that destroys embryos, for recognition of the dignity of every human life, for the overturning of laws that permit the destruction of innocent lives, and for the healing Turn to page 18
burning brightly — Despite ice forming on the pond at the Rosary Walk at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, hearts are warmed by the glow of thousands of lights and holy scenes during the shrine’s annual Festival of Lights. (Photo by Rebecca Aubut)
La Salette Shrine: Lighting the path to the Christmas spirit
B y R ebecca Aubut A nchor Staff
spirit of life — Bishop George W. Coleman led a prayer service for the protection of all human life at St. Julie Billiart Church in North Dartmouth on November 27. Pope Benedict XVI asked Catholics around the world to join him in prayer on that day. (Photo by Rebecca Aubut)
Free Catholic bioethics videos available online
By Christine M. Williams Anchor Correspondent
PHILADELPHIA — In its effort to provide ethical guidance in the areas of medicine and life science, The National Catholic Bioethics Center is once again going viral. Already equipped with a substantial website, the organization recently began posting its videos on the videosharing site YouTube. “It’s a place for people to go to get clarity,” Mark Bradford, NCBC’s executive vice president, told The Anchor. “It just seemed like such an effective
means of communicating that we weren’t taking advantage of beforehand, and we decided it was time.” According to YouTube, people watch the site’s videos two billion times daily. Users upload about 35,000 hours of new content every 24 hours. So far the NCBC has posted three videos between three and four minutes long. They have filmed nearly a dozen and plan to post new videos periodically. The NCBC has its own YouTube channel, a type of digital storeTurn to page 18
ATTLEBORO — “Come eternal Spirit, come; come with words of comfort and speak tenderly with us. Come with reassurance and rekindle the fires of our faith and our belief in the gift. We are among those whose longing hearts have yearned for a time when war shall be no more. When the mighty will be brought low, and the lowly will be lifted up. When a new king and a new kingdom shall guide us
into the ways of peace. Eternal God, we do look for the day when the blind will see, the lame walk, and the stranger becomes a brother or sister and everyone shall see us together. Oh come, Lord Jesus, come Emmanuel, come.” So began the blessing of the life-sized Nativity scene during the first weekend of the 57th annual Festival of Lights at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro. Now through January 2, 2011, the more than 350,000
lights decorating the walkways, the vegetation and statues will be seen by thousands during the holiday season. “It’s been very good,” said La Salette Brother Ronald Taylor, celebrating his 22nd Christmas at the shrine. “As a matter of fact, I got a call the other day from some volunteers who are doing a booth, and they thought that the spirit this year was exceptional. They couldn’t get over how polite people were during the Turn to page 13
Beyond the shade of the Giving Tree By Rebecca Aubut Anchor staff
lies.” During the 2009 holiday season at St. Mary’s FALL RIVER — Amidst the celebratory mu- Church in New Bedford, Msgr. John Oliveira sic and prayers of the Advent season, it is a silent said the generosity of his parish was overwhelmvoice that beckons those with plenty to help those ing. “We collected more than 800 gifts last year,” he in need. Each year churches said, “which is very generous in the diocese decorate their for a parish in the inner city. giving trees with the tags that I think people are very happy SECOND sunday gently encourage parishioof advent to do so.” ners to add to their Christmas Giving trees tend to cater purchases a few extra gifts towards a number of minisfor children they may never tries in his parish, said Msgr. meet. Oliveira, like those focused “Last year we had 800 on AIDS ministry, who refamilies benefit in Fall River quest gift cards from area alone,” said Sandy Amastores. ral, housing specialist with “We do the nursing the Catholic Social Services homes,” said Msgr. Oliveira, of Fall River. “I would say “because sometimes they throughout the diocese, we Turn to page 15 Dec. 5, 2010 reached about 1,300 fami-
News From the Vatican
December 3, 2010
Pope says Catholic newspapers have an ‘irreplaceable’ role By John Thavis Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said the Catholic press has an irreplaceable role in forming Christian consciences and reflecting the Church’s viewpoint on contemporary issues. Despite the crisis in print media today, the Catholic newspaper still has a vital role to play in diocesan communications, the pope said. He made the remarks to members of the Italian Federation of Italian Weeklies, which represents 188 Catholic newspapers. The pope said that while secular media often reflect a skeptical and relativistic attitude toward truth, the Church knows that people need the full truth brought by Christ. “The mission of the Church consists in creating the conditions so that this meeting with Christ can be realized. Cooperating in this task, the communications media are called to serve the truth with courage, to help public opinion see and read reality from an evangelical viewpoint,” he said.
A primary task of the Catholic newspaper, he said, is to “give voice to a point of view that reflects Catholic thinking on all ethical and social questions.” The pope said the printed newspaper, because of its simplicity and widespread distribution, remains an effective way of spreading news about local diocesan events and developments, including charity initiatives. As “newspapers of the people,” he said, Catholic papers can also favor real dialogue between different social sectors and debate among people of different opinions. “By doing this, Catholic newspapers not only fulfill the important task of providing information, but also perform an irreplaceable formative function” in the education of “critical and Christian consciences,” he said. The pope said Catholic journalists should give witness to their faith in their work. Their success as Catholic communicators will depend above all on their personal relationship with Christ, he said.
Pope marks beginning of Advent with prayer for life
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the beginning of Advent with a prayer for life and a defense of the human embryo. The pope presided over an evening prayer service at the Vatican November 27, part of a worldwide Pro-Life vigil. He said it was an appropriate initiative to launch Advent, the liturgical period in which the Church prepares to celebrate the birth of Jesus. In a homily, he said the Church’s teaching against abortion comes from its teaching about the dignity of every human life and its concern that the unborn is most vulnerable to “the selfishness of adults and the clouding of consciences.” “There are cultural tendencies that seek to anesthetize consciences with spurious arguments,” the pope said. Regarding the human embryo, the pope said science itself has demonstrated the embyro’s autonomous capacity of interaction with the mother, the coordination of its biological processes, the continuity of its development and its complexity as an organism. “It’s not a question of a collection of biological material, but of a new living being, dynamic and marvelously ordered, a new individual of the human species,” he said. “This is how Jesus was in Mary’s womb; this is how we each were, in our mother’s wombs,” he said.
The pope cited the early Church author Tertullian, who reasoned that abortion is wrong because, as he wrote, “He is a man, who is to be a man.” The pope added that “there is no reason not to consider him a person from the moment of conception.” Pope Benedict emphasized that the threat to human life does not end at birth. He said children today are often subject to abandonment, hunger, poverty, disease, abuse, violence and exploitation. Faced with this “sad panorama of injustices” before and after birth, the Church calls everyone to responsibility, he said. He urged leaders in politics, economics and communications to do everything possible to promote a culture that respects human life and to establish a network of services that support human life. On November 28, the first Sunday of Advent, the pope spoke to pilgrims from his apartment window about the importance of “expectant waiting” in the period before Christmas and in people’s lives in general. “We think of the expectation of a child by a married couple, or of a visit by a distant relative or friend. We think of a young person who awaits the outcome of a decisive examination, or a meeting at work,” he said. “One can say that a person is alive as long as he is expectant, as long as hope lives in his heart,” he said.
teaching from the holy father — A priest reads a new book about Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter Square at the Vatican recently. The book is titled “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Sign of the Times.” (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianch, Reuters)
Pope, in book, says homosexuality incompatible with priesthood
B y John Thavis C atholic N ews Service
VATICAN CITY — In his new book-interview, Pope Benedict XVI strongly reaffirmed Church teaching that homosexual acts are “disordered” and said homosexuality itself is “incompatible” with the priesthood. The pope’s comments came in “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” which was published November 23. The interviewer, German journalist Peter Seewald, asked the pope whether the Church’s teaching that homosexuals deserve respect isn’t contradicted by its position that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” The pope answered: “No. It is one thing to say that they are human beings with their problems and their joys, that as human beings they deserve respect, even though they have this inclination, and must not be discriminated against because of it.” “At the same time, though, sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexual,” he said. “The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and, in this way, to give humanity posterity, children, a future.” The pope said the Church needs to hold firm on this point, “even if it is not pleas-
ing to our age.” He said it was still an open question whether homosexual inclinations are innate or arise early in life. In any case, he said, if these are strong inclinations, it represents “a great trial” for the homosexual. “But this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right. Rather, it remains contrary to the essence of what God originally willed,” he said. When Seewald said that homosexuality exists in monasteries and among the clergy, even if not acted out, the pope responded: “Well, that is just one of the miseries of the Church. And the persons who are affected must at least try not to express this inclination actively.” “Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy
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itself would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into the priesthood who don’t want to get married anyway,” the pope said. The pope cited a 2005 Vatican document that drew a sharp line against priestly ordination of homosexuals. He said the document emphasized that homosexual candidates cannot become priests because their sexual orientation interferes with “the proper sense of paternity” that belongs to the priesthood. The pope said it was important to select priestly candidates very carefully, “to head off a situation where the celibacy of priests would practically end up being identified with the tendency to homosexuality.” OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 54, No. 46
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December 3, 2010
The International Church
concern for his country — Pope Benedict XVI speaks with Cardinal Antonios Naguib of Alexandria, Egypt, Coptic patriarch. The patriarch was among the 24 new cardinals named by Pope Benedict. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)
Vatican says China violates religious freedom, hampers dialogue
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — them in a very delicate and dif- attended the ordination Mass at The ordination without papal ficult condition, also from the the church in the rural town of approval of a bishop in China in- canonical point of view, and hu- Pingquan November 20. The vilflicted a “painful wound” on the miliates them, because the Chi- lage was surrounded by about Catholic Church, and govern- nese civil authorities wish to im- 100 uniformed and plainclothes ment pressure on other bishops pose on them a pastor who is not police. Cameras were banned in to participate in the ceremony in full communion either with the church, and mobile phone was a “grave violation of free- the Holy Father or with the other signals were blocked in the area. dom of religion and conscience,” bishops throughout the world,” Bishop Guo became the first the Vatican said. bishop illegitimately ordained the Vatican statement said. Under close surveilsince Pope Benedict “The Holy See notes with regret that issued his letter to Chilance from local government officials Novem- the authorities allow the leadership of nese Catholics in 2007. ber 20, Father Joseph the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Asso- The papal letter strongGuo Jincai was ordained ly criticized the limits bishop of Chengde — ciation, under the influence of Mr. Liu placed by the Chinese the first bishop ordained Bainian, to adopt attitudes that gravely government on the without papal approval damage the Catholic Church and ham- Church’s activities, but in four years. per the aforesaid dialogue,” the state- on several key issues, Eight bishops in including the appointcommunion with Pope ment said. ment of bishops, it inBenedict XVI laid their vited civil authorities hands on Father Guo, to a new and serious whose ordination was illicit in dialogue. In addition, the bishops parthe eyes of the Church. Some of ticipating in the ordination face In recent years, because of the ordaining bishops had been canonical penalties unless it can government requirements, the detained by government officials be shown that they were among priests, nuns and laypeople of in the days before the ordina- those forced by government se- Chinese dioceses have elected tion in an effort to force them to curity forces to attend the liturgy. their new bishops, and most of participate, reported the Asian Retired Bishop John Liu Jing- those elected have applied to the church news agency UCA News. he of Tangshan refused to attend Holy See for approval. If such The Vatican, which waited the ordination, sources told UCA approval was given, it often was until November 24 to make a News. announced at the episcopal orstatement because it was gatherMore than 100 Catholics and dination. Ten Chinese bishops ing information, said Pope Bene- dozens of government officials already have been ordained with dict “received the news with deep regret.” Because the new bishop did ing t a not have the mandate or blessing r th leb ur of the pope, the ordination “cone C O ar stitutes a painful wound upon Ye ecclesial communion and a grave violation of Catholic discipline,” DECEMBER 4th & 5th the statement said. B.M.C. DURFEE The ordination was a violaHIGH SCHOOL tion of Church law and Bishop Guo “finds himself in a most FALL RIVER, MASSACHUSETTS serious canonical condition,” LARGEST CRAFT FAIR IN facing “severe sanctions,” including automatic excommuniSOUTHEASTERN MASSACHUSETTS cation, it said. E ION 0 FRE R 20 S ISS “This ordination not only does OVE ADMKING OR PAR EXHIBIT not contribute to the good of the FALL RIVER SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION Catholics of Chengde, but places
Vatican approval this year. Two days before the ordination, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the ordinations, if carried out, would damage “the constructive relations that have been developing in recent times between the People’s Republic of China and the Holy See.” Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who attended the pope’s creation of 24 new cardinals at the Vatican November 20, said he was saddened by news of Bishop Guo’s ordination and information that some bishops were forced to participate. However, he told UCA News, “We should not be so quick to condemn those, our brothers, before listening to their self-justification.” The cardinal criticized Anthony Liu Bainian, vice president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, who said China proceeded with the ordination because the Vatican had not given a good reason for its lack of approval. Bainian told UCA News, “We have waited for a long time and could not wait any longer.” “The last word belongs to him,” Cardinal Zen told UCA News. “We thought there was a sincere negotiation going on. No, that was not so. He wants every-
3 thing his way.” The Vatican statement also expressed concern about Bainian’s influence in the matter. “The Holy See notes with regret that the authorities allow the leadership of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, under the influence of Mr. Liu Bainian, to adopt attitudes that gravely damage the Catholic Church and hamper the aforesaid dialogue,” the statement said. Cardinal Zen also criticized “the kidnapping of persons (bishops), the cutting of all communications, the huge show of police force as if dealing with dangerous criminals. Are we not living well into the 21st century?” Ordained a priest in 1992, Bishop Guo has been vice secretary-general of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and a Catholic representative of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament. Church sources told UCA News that the laypeople in Chengde, who are simple in their faith and loyal to the pope, have no choice but to accept their new bishop. “After all, (Bishop) Guo’s reputation among the local faithful is not bad,” a Pingquan Catholic told UCA News.
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December 3, 2010 The Church in the U.S. Illinois Catholic bishops urge rejection of civil union legislation
CHICAGO (CNS) — The Catholic Conference of Illinois has urged the state’s General Assembly to reject a Senate bill legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples. “Everyone has a right to marry, but no one has the right to change the nature of marriage. Marriage is what it is and always has been, no matter what a legislature decides to do,” said Chicago Cardinal Francis E. George in remarks accompanying a recent statement issued by the conference on behalf of the cardinal and the other bishops of Illinois. The conference is the public policy arm of the bishops. “The public understanding of marriage will be negatively affected by the passage of a bill that ignores the natural fact that sexual complementarity is at the core of marriage,” said the cardinal. “Moreover, the impact of this legislation on the Church’s social service ministries remains an important and thus far unanswered concern.” He criticized the fact that such an important measure was being considered by a lame-duck General Assembly. “More should be done to engage the people in public debate” on it, he said. The body of lawmakers was scheduled to consider the measure November 30. The legislation would provide spousal rights to same-sex partners in a civil union and grant them legal rights in surrogate decision-making for medical treatment, survivorship, adoptions, and accident and
health insurance. “Marriage was not invented by either the state or the Church and neither can change its nature,” said the conference statement. “However, laws structure society and they influence patterns of behavior and thought. In our country, as in most others, marriage is granted unique protections and benefits because marriage is the foundation of family and society. The proposed legislation would further weaken an already fragile institution.” The statement said there is “an inherent conflict” between the bill and religious liberty and its language doesn’t offer adequate protection for religious institutions and individuals from litigation he predicted they would face if the bill becomes law. One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat, told the Chicago Sun Times November 23 that the legislation would not change the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, which currently is spelled out in state law. A portion of the bill states that the proposal is not intended to “interfere with or regulate the religious practice of any religious body.” It also says religious bodies are “’free to choose whether or not to solemnize or officiate (at) a civil union.” But the Catholic conference statement said that without “explicit protections for religious liberties,” it expected the General Assembly or the courts will soon: — Require faith-based institutions that
provide adoption or foster care services “to place adoptive or foster children with couples who have entered into a same-sex civil union.” — Compel Catholic parishes or agencies that provide social services (including retreats, religious camps, homeless shelters, senior care centers and community centers) to make those services available to individuals in same-sex civil unions. — Refuse “to protect small employers who do not wish to extend family benefits to employees in a same-sex civil union.” Providing “marriage-like benefits in civil union legislation” will only “intensify the legal attack on marriage,” the statement said. It pointed out that if the bill becomes
law, there “are literally hundreds of references to married ‘spouses’ throughout Illinois’ law to which parties to a civil union will now be included.” The statement reiterated that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” “Accordingly, we stand ready to work with the legislature and other agencies of state government to prevent unjust discrimination and to provide benefits to people judged by the civic authority as deserving — as long as such provision does not include the attempted redefinition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman for the sake of family,” the statement said.
Denver (CNA) — Catholics are honoring the life and work of humanitarian Dorothy Day on Monday, marking the 30th anniversary of the Catholic Worker Movement founder’s death. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver noted in comments to CNA that Day was a “radical” in the truest sense of the word, because she was deeply committed to “the Christian vocation.” Thirty years ago on Nov. 29, 1980, Dorothy Day — the famous 20th-century convert known for her tireless work in defending the poor — passed away at the age of 84. Born in Brooklyn and eventually raised in Chicago, she was baptized Episcopalian at the age of 12. She displayed signs at a young age of possessing a deep religious sense, editor-in-chief of CNA David Scott noted in his 2002 book, “Praying in the Presence of Our Lord.” As a young girl, Day fasted and mortified her body by sleeping on hardwood floors. One journal entry from those early years expresses her desire to suffer for the sins of the world. Her life soon changed as the 1910s brought about a stark shift in the U.S. social climate. Day read Upton Sinclair’s scathing depiction of the Chicago meat-packing industry in his book called “The Jungle,” which marked a turning point in her personal ideology. She dropped out of college and moved to New York, where she took a job as a reporter for the country’s largest daily socialist paper The Call. After fraternizing with the Bohemians and Socialist intellectuals of her time — and after a series of disastrous romances, one of which included a forced abortion by a man who eventually left her — Day fell in love with an anarchist nature-lover by the name of Forster Batterham. She eventually settled in Staten Island, living a peaceful, slow-paced life on the beach with Batterham in a common law marriage. Conflict arose, however, when Day became increasingly drawn to the Catholic faith — praying rosaries consistently and even having their daughter, Tamar, baptized as a Catholic. Batterham, a staunch atheist, eventually left them and Day was received into the Catholic Church herself in 1927. She returned to New York City as a single mother where her deep-rooted and longstanding concern for the poor resurfaced. Along with French itinerant Peter Maurin, she founded the Catholic Worker movement
in 1933. Living the Catholic notion of holy poverty and practicing works of mercy, the two started soup kitchens, self-sustaining farm communities and a daily newspaper. In the course of her 50 years working among the poor and marginalized, Day never took a salary. Her legacy lives on today in the 185 Catholic Worker communities in the U.S. and around the globe. In 2000, 20 years after her death, then-leader of the Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal John O’Connor, submitted Day’s cause for canonization to the Vatican. With this approval, she was given the title of Servant of God, which is bestowed on a candidate for sainthood whose cause is still under investigation, prior to beatification. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver marked the occasion of Day’s passing 30 years ago by reflecting on her life and work in a November 29 email to CNA. “Like Francis of Assisi, Dorothy Day sought to live the Gospel sine glossa — without ‘glosses,’ caveats or exceptions,” he said. “She was radical in the truest sense of the word, committed to the root of the Christian vocation.” Day was also “heroically consistent” in her love for the poor, the infirm and the unborn child, Archbishop Chaput added. “Most importantly, she loved the Church as her mother and teacher, and she refused to ignore or downplay those Catholic teachings that might be inconvenient.” “At its best, the Catholic Worker movement she founded continues to witness her extraordinary virtues,” he said. CNA also spoke with Donna Ecker, the co-director of a Catholic Worker community called the Bethany House in Rochester, N.Y. The community dedicates itself to serving homeless women and children. “Our work is emergency housing, an emergency food cupboard, a clothing room, a drop-in center, a place of worship and volunteer center,” Ecker explained via email. “Although I never personally had the honor of meeting Dorothy, my uncle and aunt were the co-founders of St. Joseph’s House and good friends of hers.” St. Joseph’s House was founded in 1941 and helped give birth to Bethany House in 1978. Ecker said that the community strives to live out Day’s philosophy, noting that the house’s sign by the front door states, “Let all guests be received as Christ.”
Catholics remember Dorothy Day on 30th anniversary of her death
December 3, 2010
Church boosts efforts to stress importance of marriage in modern world
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Despite a recent Pew Research Center survey that found a growing number of Americans — now 39 percent, up from 28 percent in 1978 — think marriage is becoming obsolete, family ministers across the country say they believe marriage remains a strong institution. And they’re taking steps to keep it that way. “That survey says that over 60 percent agree that marriage is not becoming obsolete,” said Bill Boomer, executive director of the Department of Marriage and Family in the Cleveland Diocese. “The majority of first marriages still last. It is still possible to be married for a lifetime.” Professional ministers such as Boomer, while not buoyed by the survey’s results, told Catholic News Service that they believe marriage will survive, but he acknowledged they must come up with ways to impress upon young generations the important role marriage plays in society. They also say the Catholic Church’s view that marriage can only exist between one man and one woman is important to share with modern-day culture. “If we don’t get that message out, that Christian message out, the next few years, our culture will have succeeded in defining marriage for us,” said Lorrie Gramer, co-director of the Family Life Office in the Diocese of Rockford, Ill. The Pew survey examined a wide range of issues related to marriage and families. In addition to finding that nearly four in 10 people consider marriage less important as an institution, the survey also revealed that slightly more than half — 52 percent — of all adults were married in 2008 compared with 72 percent in 1960. The decline in marriage has occurred primarily based on educational background. By a 64 percent to 48 percent margin, college graduates are more likely to be married than people with a high school diploma or less. While people in both groups were just as likely to say they want to marry, according to the survey, people with a high school diploma or less placed a higher premium on financial stability as a very important reason to marry. The survey also found that a vast majority of respondents do not see marriage as the only foundation of family life, with 86 percent saying a single parent and child is a family, 80 percent saying an unmarried couple living together with a child is a family and 63 percent saying a same-sex couple raising a child
is a family. Meanwhile, 69 percent of those surveyed said the trend toward more single women having children is bad for society. At the same time, 61 percent said a child needs both a mother and father to grow up happily. A minority of respondents (43 percent for each question) thought cohabitation without marriage, unmarried couples raising children and gay couples raising children are bad for society. Chris Codden, director of the Office of Marriage and Family in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn., said efforts are under way nationwide to stress the positive aspects of marriage in everyday life. “We have to make marriage look healthier and more appealing to young people,” Codden told CNS. Parish-based programs in St. Cloud also focus on how marriage is portrayed to children. “We’re particularly looking at how we help parents teach their children not only about sexuality but about the beauty of marriage,” said Codden, who is president of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers. Such efforts require that married couples have more prominent positions in parish life, Gramer explained, pointing to a diocesan marriage initiative in Rockford that will involve the formation of marriage ministry teams in each parish. Much of the Rockford effort is focusing on marriage as a social institution as well as a sacrament of the Church. The effort is incorporating various aspects of the For Your Marriage initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “We just wanted to get more recognized visibility,” Gramer told CNS. “We wanted to give that witness to those people who are there, especially to young people.” Judy Clark, co-director with her husband, George, of Family and Adult Ministry and Counseling Services at St. Mark Parish in Plano, Texas, echoed Gramer’s view that it is important to show young couples the value of marriage over cohabitation. With U.S. Census Bureau statistics showing that cohabitation before marriage has nearly doubled since 1990, Clark and her colleagues know they have a huge task ahead. The Pew survey found that 44 percent of all adult respondents — and more than half of all adults 30 to 49 years old — say they have cohabited before marriage. Of those who have done so, 64 percent said
they saw cohabitation as a step toward marriage. “The reality is that many of our couples who are coming to us for (preparation) for sacramental marriage are already living together,” Clark acknowledged. “The point is, they’re coming to the Church. We’re preparing them for sacramental marriage. We’re not taking time to condemn or put them down. We’re moving forward. “I think it’s very important to have an invitational attitude with our young people,” she said. “If you come in heavy-handed, you
can lose them.” Emphasis also is being placed in diocesan programs to help married couples get through the rough times that occur in every marriage. That’s where married couples can be resources to other married couples, explained Gramer in Rockford. But in a secular society with changing norms, how does the Church’s approach to marriage education, support and preparation continue to bear fruit if people are finding the institution less important? It comes down to faith and
religious values, said Boomer in Cleveland. It’s in those areas where he believes the Church can make a difference. “It’s taken us 40 years to get here,” he said. “I think it’s too early to tell if we’re succeeding. But we’ve got to try. “In the last couple of years, I’ve been becoming hopeful both because of the bishops’ national initiative and these local things,” Boomer added. “I don’t feel alone anymore. I see more parishes doing marriage enrichment things. It’s better than keeping our heads in the sand.”
A consistent ethic of Christ’s concerns for all his people
On November 16, at the U.S. Bishops’ Conference’s annual meeting, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago gave his final address as president of the conference. In it he looked back over his three-year tenure as president, gave a penetrating analysis into current issues and trends and proposed various lessons — especially from the ongoing health care debate — that he and his brother bishops, and the churches they lead, must grasp. Insofar as Cardinal George is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant bishops in U.S. Church history, his presidential valedictory deserves to be studied by all those who love this country and love the Church. First, he focused on the present context of the bishops’ work in teaching and shepherding God’s people. He says that both are now being challenged by those “who would either want to remake the Church according to their own designs or discredit her as a voice in the public discussions that shape our society.” He suggested that there are some who have an agenda contrary to the plan of Christ who either want the Church to change to reflect that agenda or who want to undermine the Church’s credibility to speak. This insight is doubtless not a revelation to most bishops or intelligent Catholics, but it points to the fact that the shepherds’ work in feeding and guiding Christ’s flock is going to encounter wolves — and they need to be prepared for it. The second point was about the proper limits of the bishops’ competence in public interventions. “We have only very cautiously entered into details of public policy,” Cardinal George said, “for this is more properly the work of lay people, as it has been in the health care debate. Universal health care can be delivered using many means: everything publicly funded, everything privately funded or a mixture of the two. Any of these solutions could be moral, and it is up to lay people to decide which are the best means to see to it that everyone is cared for.” The bishops, in other words, have no specific competence to determine the minutiae of public policy, and there is plenty of room for legitimate disagreement among Catholics as to how particular aspects of the common good ought to be met. These words are a healthy dose of self-restraint for a conference that, at times in the past, has been criticized for overstepping its bounds and putting the weight of the Church behind particular pieces of legislation favoring governmental solutions on which properly conscientious Catholic lay people could legitimately disagree. Cardinal George, however, said that this restraint does not mean that the bishops do not have the competence and duty to determine when particular pieces of legislation violate the common good. This is precisely what the conference must do, he stressed, when “proposed legislation uses public funds to kill those living in their mother’s womb.” This is what the bishops did during the health care debate. He said that there was confusion sown in certain circles — by some Democratic legislators and leaders of the Catholic Health Association — about whether, empirically, the health care legislation permitted the funding of abortion. That it did, he said, was made plain in at least three ways: by the explicit removal of Hyde Amendment restrictions from the Senate bill that was confirmed by the House; by the detailed reports of lay experts at the bishops’ conference and at the National Right to Life Committee citing the actual legislation; and by the attempts of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after the passage of the bill to fund abortions in several states through Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans. Others, he said, tried to pretend that the legislation was too complicated for the bishops to form a moral judgment. “If you will excuse my saying so,” he replied with animated wit, “this implies either that no one can understand or judge complicated pieces of legislation, in which case it is immoral to act until sufficient clarity is obtained, or it is to say that only bishops are too dense to understand complicated pieces of legislation.” Throughout the debate, he said, the bishops fulfilled their principle duty, to keep “the moral and intellectual integrity of the faith intact,” even if, at present, the outcome still leaves the unborn unprotected. Fourth, Cardinal George raised the ecclesiological issue of “who speaks for the Catholic Church?” He began by candidly noting, “We bishops have no illusions about our speaking for everyone who considers himself or herself Catholic,” but insisted, “we speak for the apostolic faith, and those who hold it gather round.” There are some Catholics, he indicates, who do not share the faith handed on by the Apostles through their successors, and the bishops do not pretend to speak for them, but neither do all Catholics by their baptism speak for the faith. Their commentary is just “opinion, often well-considered and important opinion that deserves a careful and respectful hearing, but still opinion.” This is an important clarification because of the scandalous role played by some Catholic public figures during the health care debate, especially the Catholic Health Association and its president, Sister Carol Keenan. In close coordination with the White House, Sister Keenan regularly sowed darnel in the debate by publicly maintaining against the bishops that the bill did not fund abortions. Moreover, she allowed her organization — a trade union representing Catholic hospitals — to be used to give the impression that Catholic hospitals, and therefore, the Catholic Church, supported the legislation as is. That led to the fifth and most general point: how faithful Catholics should approach political issues that are also moral. Cardinal George said that the health care debate illustrated that there are essentially two camps: those who start “with the faith in its integrity and fit their political choices into the context of the fullness of the Church’s teaching” and those “for whom a political choice, even a good choice, [is] basic and the Church [is] judged useful by whether or not she provide[s] foot soldiers for their political commitment, whether of the left or the right.” The distinction is whether one is a Catholic first, or a Democrat, Republican, or Tea Partier first; whether one is trying to bring one’s political party and associations more into line with the Catholic faith or trying to bring the Church more into line with one’s political party or persuasions. “For too many,” Cardinal George regrets, “politics is the ultimate horizon of their thinking and acting.” That is leading not only to fractures in society but also a “wound to the Church’s unity.” The remedy to this, Cardinal George says, is two-fold: “orthodoxy in belief and obedience in practice.” It’s not enough merely to know the faith; the faith must be lived. The bishops must help Catholics learn and live the fullness of the faith, which will bring about the restoration of “the seamless garment of ecclesial communion” and heal some of the fractures of society. The bishops, he said, need to model that restoration and be “consistent,” to remain together, “because the concerns of Jesus Christ are consistent.” He recast and updated a much-misused phrase of his predecessor as Archbishop of Chicago and Conference President, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who in 1983 called for a “consistent ethic of life.” Cardinal George asked his fellow bishops to join him in proclaiming “a consistent ethic of Christ’s concerns for all his people, especially the poor,” specifying first a priority to defend life at its foundation and then to preserving, protecting and promoting the dignity of those who are allowed to be born: “The voice of Christ speaks always from a consistent concern for the gift of human life, a concern that judges the full continuum of technological manipulation of life, from the use of artificial contraception to the destruction of human embryos to the artificial conception of human beings in a Petri dish to genetic profiling to the killing of unwanted children through abortion. If the poor are allowed to be born, then the voice of Christ continues to speak to the homeless and the jobless, the hungry and the naked, the uneducated, the migrant, the imprisoned, the sick and the dying.” To hear the voice of Christ and share his consistent concern for all his people is the task of bishops and those who share the faith of the Apostles gathered around them.
December 3, 2010
‘God so loved the world …’
his love for us to be real and tangible, e Catholics are not typically as not just some abstract image or platonic good as our Protestant brothform of love. ers and sisters in being able to quote As we continue our Advent preparapassages from sacred Scripture off the top of our head. Many of us are certainly tion for the celebration of Christ’s birth, we are challenged by the words of John able to recall many stories from the Old the Baptist who is the voice crying Testament and probably also a number out in the desert, saying, “Prepare the of our Lord’s teachings and parables. way of the Lord.” How do we prepare When it comes to providing chapter for the Lord? How do we prepare for and verse, however, I am willing to bet Christmas? A great place to start is in a that most of us would have a little more prayerful meditation upon the love that trouble with accuracy. There is one passage in the New Tes- motivated God to send his Son into the world. tament that most of us have probably The “Catechism” explains, “In the seen identified by its chapter and verse, course of its history, Israel was able to perhaps not on the pages of the Holy discover that God had only one reason Bible itself, but written on signs held to reveal himself to them, a single moat sporting events or other rallies. It is tive for choosing them from among all John 3:16, the famous verse that states, peoples as his special possession: his “God so loved the world that he gave sheer gratuitous love. And thanks to the his only Son, that whoever believes in prophets, Israel understood that it was him should not perish but have eternal again out of love that God never stopped life.” saving them and pardoning their unfaithIt is this passage found in the Gosfulness and sins. God’s love for Israel is pel of St. John that we reflect upon compared to a father’s love for his son. the second reason for the incarnation. His love for his people is stronger than a The “Catechism” explains, “The Word mother’s for became flesh her children. so that we God loves his might know Putting Into people more God’s love: ‘In than a groom this the love the Deep his bride” of God was (CCC 218made manifest By Father 219). among us, that Jay Mello This love God sent his of God that only Son into was first the world, so that we might live through him’” (1 Jn 4, communicated to his holy people has been made clearly present and incar9) (CCC 458). nate in the person of Jesus Christ. He In the first encyclical letter of his is the perfection of God’s love for us, pontificate, ‘Deus Caritas Est,’ Pope a love that is first seen in Bethlehem Benedict XVI provided a theological on Christmas morning and brought to reflection upon this very reality in the completion upon the cross. Christ himdocument’s opening lines. Our Holy self said on the night before his cruciFather explained, “Being Christian is fixion that there is no greater love than not the result of an ethical choice or a to lay down one’s life for his friends (Jn lofty idea, but the encounter with an 15:13). From the moment of his birth to event, a person, which gives life a new the moment of his death, Jesus shows horizon and a decisive direction. St. us the love of God. John’s Gospel describes that event in In the same document referenced these words: ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever earlier, Pope Benedict said, “When Jesus speaks in his parables of the shepherd believes in him should have eternal who goes after the lost sheep, of the life’” (3:16). woman who looks for the lost coin, of The pope was pointing to the fact the father who goes to meet and emthat our faith is essentially built upon a relationship with Jesus Christ — God’s brace his prodigal son, these are no mere words: they constitute an explanation incarnate love. The pope continues by of his very being and activity. His death stating, “In acknowledging the centralon the cross is the culmination of that ity of love, Christian faith has retained turning of God against himself in which the core of Israel’s faith, while at the he gives himself in order to raise man same time giving it new depth. The pious Jew prayed daily the words of Deu- up and save him. This is love in its most teronomy, which expressed the heart of radical form” (DCE, 12). The second reason for the Word to his existence: ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love become flesh was so that we might know God’s love for us. This is the great the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mystery of love that is revealed to us might’ (Deut 6:4-5). Since God has first on Christmas morning. This is the love loved us (cf. 1 Jn 4:10),” Pope Benedict that fills our hearts as we pray in front of the crèche scene or kneel in eucharisconcludes, “love is now no longer a tic adoration. God became one of us to mere ‘command,’ it is the response to share his love with us so that we might the gift of love with which God draws know and love him and one another. As near to us” (DCE 1). we prepare for Christ, let us be diligent Our Holy Father’s deep theological insights remind us that God loves us and about finding ways to share God’s love that he has communicated that love to us with those who may have forgotten about it. through Jesus Christ. It was his infinite Father Mello is a parochial vicar at and merciful love that motivated him to St. Patrick’s Parish in Falmouth. send his Son into the world. He wanted
December 3, 2010
Q: What would you consider an appropriate time during Advent to put up Christmas trees, ornaments, lights and other decorations in churches and Christian homes? — B.O., Lewistown, Pennsylvania Q: Please give me the true teaching of the magisterium in regards to the use of statues and Christmas cribs in church or in chapels. Is it true that they may not be used in church, but only in the foyer or in the entrance? — A.W., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan A: The first question is simple only in appearance because customs surrounding the celebration of Christmas vary widely among different cultures. From a strictly liturgical standpoint the preparations for receiving the Christ Child intensify from December 17 onward and this is probably a good time to set up the parish crib, except for the image of the child, which is often added just before Midnight Mass in more or less solemn fashion. Other parishes prefer to set up the crib on Christmas Eve. There are no official rites regarding this widespread custom. December 17 or the nearest Sunday might also be a good date to set up Christmas trees and other decorations in Christian homes, but it really depends on local custom and tradition. It is unnecessary, however, to fall under the spell of commercial enterprises that tend to anticipate the Christmas season, sometimes even before Advent begins. Because some Christmas decorations have often lost their original religious meaning, churches should be rather circumspect about employing them and should do so with great discretion. If used at all, these decorations are best set up on Christmas Eve so as to respect the integrity of the Advent season. Christmas trees are preferably located outside the sanctuary and church proper, and are best left in vestibules or church grounds. This has been the practice in St. Peter’s Square from the time of Pope John Paul II. As far as possible, decorations should be religiously themed, leaving plastic reindeer, sugar canes and Santa Clauses in the local shopping
When to set up Christmas decorations
gather for a moment of prayer mall or at least within the or to read the biblical acconfines of the parish hall for counts of the Lord’s birth.” children’s events. This is corroborated by Within the church proper, apart from the crib, Christmas No. 111: “At Midnight Mass, an event of major liturgical may be evoked by using, for example, traditional poinsettias, holly and other traditional elements according to the culture. With regard to the Christmas crib, there By Father is not a great deal of Edward McNamara what could be deemed “magisterium.” Many Church traditions are significance and of strong customary and are not maniresonance in popular piety, fested in official norms. the following could be given There are, however, some prominence: […] “— at the official guidelines that maniend of Mass, the faithful could fest Church thinking on this subject. On the universal level be invited to kiss the image of the Directory on Popular Piety the Child Jesus, which is then has some pertinent indications placed in a crib erected in the church or somewhere nearby.” which emphasize its imporFrom this document we can tance in the family and indiglean that not only is there no rectly show that placing the rule against placing the Nativcrib in the church is perfectly ity scene inside a church, acceptable. but that it is a long-standing Thus, No. 104 states: custom to do so. “The Crib — As is well Although they have no known, in addition to the replegal authority outside of the resentations of the crib found in churches since antiquity, the custom of building cribs in the home was widely promoted from the 13th century, influenced undoubtedly by St. Francis of Assisi’s crib in Greccio. Their preparation, in which children play a significant role, is an occasion for the members of the family to come into contact with the mystery of Christmas, as they
United States, the U.S. Bishops’ Conference guidelines on church buildings “Built of Living Stones” makes some sensible suggestions on this topic that can be applied everywhere. To wit: “124. Plans for seasonal decorations should include other areas besides the sanctuary. … The altar should remain clear and free-standing, not walled in by massive floral displays or the Christmas crib, and pathways in the narthex, nave, and sanctuary should remain clear.” In setting up the crèche, therefore, care must be taken to locate it in such a manner that it does not impede the altar or produce an obstacle to movements, while at the same time making it easily accessible for devotional visits.
I do not believe that this norm would exclude the custom of placing an image of the infant Jesus in the sanctuary area. This custom is quite common in many places, including St. Peter’s Basilica where an image of the Infant is customarily placed on a stand located at ground level in front of the high altar. Besides this image, there is also a fully populated Nativity scene in another part of the basilica and the huge display in the square outside. Father Edward McNamara is a Legionary of Christ and professor of Liturgy at Regina Apostolorum University in Rome. His column appears weekly at zenit.org. To submit questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put the word “Liturgy” in the subject field. The text should include your initials, your city and state.
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omewhere in all of our brains is the knowledge that we live and experience “the Kingdom” everyday. In today’s readings we are asked to consider just how close to the surface that knowledge is and how we choose to respond to that knowledge in our daily lives. John the Baptist was not a touchy feely kind of guy. I suspect that the people who came to him to be baptized felt more than physically naked before him, and that it was more than the Pharisees and Sadducees who experienced pointed and direct criticism of their lives. To be sure, deacons, priests, bishops and all of
December 3, 2010
Be conscious of the Kingdom
us who have been entrusted and a genuine desire to to serve God’s people have grant forgiveness. He great responsibility when makes it possible for true it comes to building up change to happen, but only the kingdom, but none of through the grace of the us have a free ride. When Holy Spirit. It is this gift of John said to repent, he was talking to Homily of the Week all of us, calling us to truly take stock Second Sunday of our choices and of Advent behaviors and acBy Deacon knowledge before Doug Medeiros God those times when we have fallen short, when spiritual fire that cleanses we have failed to lead, us (sometimes very painwhen we have inflicted fully) of our sinfulness and pain through our actions brokenness, which enables or our neglect. Unlike us to change. John’s harsh assessments, When I have spare time, however, Christ assesses you will most likely find our nakedness with love
me in my workshop. There are few things I enjoy more than working with wood. I heard a story once about a gathering of furniture makers. One guy was very impressed with a piece another guy had made and was complimenting him on his fine craftsmanship. The guy who built the piece then pointed out a mistake in his work. The first guy was undeterred because he knew that it was nearly impossible to build a perfect piece. As a woodworker, he also knew that how we fix and recover from our mistakes is when true
craftsmanship abounds. It may sound strange but in every mistake we make there is an opportunity for craftsmanship. There is an opportunity for us to be shaped by the Holy Spirit anew. As we continue our journey during this Advent season, let us be conscious of “the Kingdom” Christ calls us to build. Let us be conscious of our mistakes, of our brokenness and try to see them as chances to grow and become new creations in Christ. Deacon Medeiros serves the people of St. Joseph’s Parish in Fairhaven and is the husband of Sue and the father of Molly, Sophia and Emma.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Dec. 4, Is 30:19-21,23-26; Mt 9:35-10:1,5a,6-8. Sun. Dec. 5, Second Sunday of Advent, Is 11:1-10; Ps 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17; Rom 15:4-9; Mt 3:1-12. Mon. Dec. 6, Is 35:1-10; Lk 5:17-26. Tues. Dec. 7, Is 40:1-11; Mt 18:12-14. Wed. Dec. 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Gn 3:9-15,20; Ps 98:1-4; Eph 1:3-6,11-12; Lk 1:26-38. Thur. Dec. 9, Is 41:13-20; Mt 11:11-15. Fri. Dec. 10, Is 48:17-19; Mt 11:16-19.
ress coverage of New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan’s recent election as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops exemplified what my colleague Meghan Clyne calls “paint-by-numbers” reporting. Like the paint-by-numbers kits that were a fad when I was a kid, paint-by-numbers journalism produces something rather childish and not very pretty. Both unhappy attributes were fully on display as the herd of independent minds tried to cope with the Dolan story, scrambling (and failing) to grasp its dynamics and meaning. The first paint-by-numbers color in this particularly childish picture was the color “surprise”: it was hard to find a story that didn’t peg Arch-
according to which USCCB bishop Dolan’s election that vice-president Bishop Gerald way in the first sentence. And Kicanas’s ascension to the while there was some truth to this — the bishops overturned conference presidency was inevitable? a long custom of electing Paint-by-numbers reportas president the outgoing ing on the Dolan story also conference vice-president featured those hoary clichés — the real story was that a quiet, extensive, and ultimately successful campaign was mounted, often by younger bishops, to change The Way We Bishops Do Things. You might have By George Weigel thought exploring that dynamic was worth some ink. Evidently, it wasn’t. Why? about “liberal” and “conservaMight it have been because tive” Catholicism. Or, as one the Fourth Estate could not let’s-be-clever sound-biter concede to having swallowed had it, “‘liberal moderate’ its unimaginative and rather vs. ‘conservative moderate’ lazy pre-election reporting, Catholicism.” This is, frankly, getting tedious; its mindnumbing dullness may explain why few serious readers look to the mainstream media for serious coverage of the Catholic Church. Moreover, running the election of Archbishop Dolan through the usual left/right filters led reporters to miss another big story: the transformation of the U.S. bishops conference from a body focused on institutional maintenance and being “in play” in the great public policy debates of the day to one in which a critical mass of bishops are
The Catholic Difference
committed to strengthening Catholic identity, evangelizing a toxic culture, and challenging political realism with a compelling presentation of moral truth. The Dolan election stories were also notable for paintby-numbers sourcing and quote-citing, in which the same old same-olds were trotted out to say the predictable things. Paint-by-numbers sourcing also intersected with paintby-numbers clichépromoting, as most of the stories I read “balanced” a known-quantity “liberal” commentator with a known-quantity “conservative,” usually in such a way as to signal the reader that the latter was the bad guy. In the immediate, postelection scrum, I tried to get reporters interested in the true significance of this year’s USCCB election, which was that it marked the end of an era. That era was defined by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, who left a deep impression on the bishops conference he served as its general secretary, then its president, then its behindthe-scenes eminence grise. So comprehensive was Bernardin’s influence in defining the culture and the modus operandi of the conference that the
Bernardin Era lasted for 14 years after the cardinal died on Nov. 14, 1996, after a gallant and edifying battle with cancer. But it is now over, because of a generational change in the center-of-gravity of the American episcopate. That generational change is a matter of Catholic sensibility as well as of age. Like the man they chose to lead them, the bishops who elected Archbishop Dolan combine a sense of excitement about the Catholic possibility in 21st-century America with serious reservations about the national drift into a utilitarianism in which “Will it work?” is the only question of moral consequence. The bishops in the Dolan coalition are also willing to challenge the sexual revolution with the tools John Paul II gave the Church in his Theology of the Body; many bishops of the Bernardin Era were deeply shaken by the post-Humanae Vitae chaos in the Church and simply wished (and, in some cases, wish) that the challenging questions engaged by Catholicism’s ethic of love would disappear. The tectonic plates within U.S. Catholicism’s ordained leadership have shifted. You can’t depict that shift with paint-by-numbers. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
I do (not)
28 November 2010 — at home Recently, the Pew Research in The Dightons — First Sunday Center in Washington, D.C., pubof Advent lished its latest findings on marhere’s nothing more relaxing than a quiet evening spent at the rectory with the first Reflections of a candle of the Advent Parish Priest wreath burning brightly in the darkness, the greyBy Father Tim hounds curled up on the Goldrick faux Persian carpet at my feet, ensconced by the faux fireplace, sipping chamomile riage in America. I was the first on tea, and pouring over the latest my block to obtain a copy. This statistical studies. I love a good distinction was easily achieved. page-turner filled with graphs and There is only one other private numbers as much as the next guy. residence on my block, along
December 3, 2010
The Ship’s Log
with a hardware/grain/surplus/ whatever store, the Department of Public Works’ oddly conical garage, a two-level apartment building that used to be something else, a pizza parlor, a half-occupied strip mall, and a no-frills restaurant where one can order Greek-style lamb (my favorite) or stuffed green peppers (Father Gerry Barnwell’s favorite). Be that as it may, the most recent research topic of the Pew people was national marriage trends. It’s a topic near and dear
An example of Christian imagination
fantasy but a history, one that has n the early 1930s a young been waiting to be told. What exwar veteran and professor plains that, I think, is the mystery of English was steadily marking of the word. papers for school certificates. Tolkien’s critical work on As any teacher will tell you, this “Beowulf” is still a pillar of the kind of routine grading of rote field, and he literally found the examinations fits the definition history of Middle Earth through of “drudgery,” repetitive, tedious, the sometimes cryptic words of fatiguing, uninspiring. There is, Middle English he discovered however, a secret that some of us there, because, you see, words know: it is in our daily work that are haunted things. They are ofwe find supernatural encounter. ten mistaken to be passive referSometimes the more ordinary ents to some object in reality, but and monotonous, the better. they represent a dynamic relation And so it was for J.R.R. Tolkbetween our collective minds and ien as he sat, marking exams. He suddenly grabbed an exam booklet and wrote the sentence: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” That sentence triggered a world called Arda, a continent called By Jennifer Pierce Middle-Earth, and whole new (ancient) species of beings. Calling it an the world; they point in mulimaginary world is not exactly tiple directions, are received in correct. It is, as Tolkien himself multiple ways, and contain, like called it, a “legendarium” of a people, histories. Almost like the lost history. Arda is not, as is backstories of comic book heroes sometimes supposed, another and villains, where we discover planet or another world; it is our the genesis of their heroism or world in “an earlier phase of their evil, words allude to an imagination.” ineffable origin that feels overHow did this legendarium run with meaning if you dare transpire for this meticulous contemplate it. An etymological professor, who was actually dictionary can seem like Renaisnot just a professor of literature sance grimoire, an ancient magic but a philologist, a person who book, instead of a simple dictioncatalogues, studies, and analyzes ary because as you pore over it the history of words? He called you realize the old meanings of the process by which he created a word aren’t simply replaced by Arda, Middle-Earth, and her newer ones, they seem to cling, inhabitants, “sub-creation” and giving subtle connotations even emphasized that the process of when we aren’t conscious that we writing the purest fiction is to are doing so. literally create a new world with Tom Shippey, in his book on its own laws and logic. Instead Tolkien “Author of the Cenof the created world imitating tury,” shows exactly how the reality, the author imitates God. unexplained allusions and the This theory of fiction certainly mysterious words in Middle Engexplains the exquisite details of lish poetry — the ones that don’t Arda, with its own languages, seem to correlate with anything maps, songs, flora and fauna, and in our contemporary English — histories. What it doesn’t explain are the ones that Tolkien used to is the essence of Tolkien’s world, not simply imagine but release the distinct sense that this is not
On Great Catholic Writers
the history of Middle Earth like phantoms from an ancient chest. A single reference to a woodland creature that no longer has a name, turns into a whole race of beings that once walked our Earth but have since vanished into the mist. It seems true because his stories fill the places that actually once had something there — we just don’t know what it was. Tolkien is an ideal example of the Catholic imagination. People mistake Catholic or even Christian art with directly representing Christian content. It can do that, as in the paintings of Michelangelo, but as we’ve seen in the work of Waugh or O’Connor or Shakespeare, it can infuse the work like herbs infuse hot water. A woman taking a baby down to a river doesn’t have to have the word Moses or Jesus, or the words baptism or renewal, attached to them. It’s all in there. Locked in, like the secrets of Tolkien’s Middle English words. Tolkien explains the Catholic infusion in his work for us: “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like ‘religion,’ to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.” It is the difference between imagining oneself creating Catholic art for Catholics, or believing that we are what we say we are: a catholic people creating and working for the world as its light and its salt. Jennifer Pierce is a parishioner of Corpus Christi in East Sandwich, where she lives with her husband Jim and three children.
to my heart, dear readers, because I’m licensed to perform marriages. Reading the first page of the report, I quickly surmised that this would be a real horror story. It proved to be more frightening than anything Stephen King has yet published. Four out of 10 Americans, it said, consider marriage obsolete. Yikes. I would imagine that the next time a survey is taken more than half of all Americans will consider marriage passé. Marriage is foundational to family life and has been since God created us male and female. Families are also the building blocks of the Church. In fact, families are sometimes called “the Domestic Church.” With so many Americans considering marriage archaic, we have a problem. There’s a proven decline in marriage among young American adults. Marriage rates have been plummeting for 30 years. Back in the good old days of the 1960s, 68 percent of young adults were married, now it’s 26 percent. I remember the 1960s. There were love beads and love-ins and freelove and anything-goes hippie communes and slogans proclaiming “make love not war.” As a youth, I recall attending a music festival held in the pouring rain. Some unknown singer was called into service to replace the finicky star. Joan Baez wore a glistening candy-apple red raincoat on stage that night. Jostled by the muddy mob, I barely managed to circumvent a pup tent in which a man and woman appeared to be wrapped in a passionate embrace. I was embarrassed. The 1960s was not a decade in which sexual mores and traditional family values were particularly strong. Who would have thought that just a generation later we would be longing for the old-fashioned moral values of the 1960s? There seems to be a connection between economic status, education level and marriage, says the report. Attitudes on marriage differ markedly by race, age, and social status. There is a correlation between the “marriage gap” and the “economic gap.” Those
in a lower socio-economic group shy away from the financial risk of marriage, although they may personally favor marriage. Many 20-somethings just can’t afford to get married and, anyway, they figure, who needs commitment? I would like to see a study on the other end of the age spectrum — more mature folks, possibly following an annulment or the death of a first spouse, who are hesitant to enter another marriage for fear of losing essential economic benefits. For many of those more mature in age, the thought of living together without the benefit of marriage is morally reprehensible. They are caught in a quandary. The decline of the institution of marriage fits my own experience. In the parish, fewer and fewer couples come to the church seeking to get married. When they do, they often give the same residential address without even batting an eyelash. They’ve been living together for years. Some have already attempted civil marriage. Some are divorced. Some have children between themselves or with others — or both. Couples tell me these things quite openly, without any hesitation whatsoever. I worry about the children. More and more children listed in the baptismal register are born out of wedlock. That guy named Pater ignotus (Latin for “father unknown”) sure gets around these days. Children born to unwed mothers have increased from five percent in 1960 to 41 percent in 2008, according to the Federal Census Bureau — so much for those touting the effectiveness of artificial birth control education for children and teens. Cohabitation has nearly doubled in the past couple of decades. For growing numbers of young adults, it all seems perfectly normal. What’s a pastor to do in this strange, strange world we live in but finish his tea and turn in for the night? Tomorrow’s another day. Let’s hope it’s a better one. Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.
December 3, 2010
A shining star burns behind the scenes at La Salette
By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
ATTLEBORO — One of the local traditions that will always be associated with the Advent and Christmas season in the Fall River Diocese is the annual Festival of Lights display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro. And for the past 18 years, there’s been one standout volunteer who has tirelessly worked year-round to build, tweak, repair and improve the colorful outdoor displays that draw thousands of people to the shrine between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Although the shrine depends on a large and dedicated cache of volunteers to make their Festival of Lights happen every year, few are as committed and passionate about their work as Richard St. Pierre. “We have a lot of volunteers, but Richard St. Pierre has just been an inspiration to the visitors, staff and community here,” said Lori Ker-
A devout Catholic, St. shner, communications di- good about,” St. Pierre said. rector for La Salette Shrine. “I first started volunteering at Pierre said he always had a “His tireless work involves La Salette in 1993 — I had soft spot for the promise and beauty of the Christcreating the Festival mas season, which is of Lights displays what attracted him to year after year in a La Salette. workshop set up in “I always loved the our garage on the lights at the shrine and shrine property.” the looks of wonder For almost two deand joy on the faces cades now, St. Pierre of little children who has spent the bulk came to see the disof what should be play every year,” he his retirement years said. volunteering at La There’s a sparkle in Salette Shrine — and St. Pierre’s eyes that at the spry age of belies his age, and he 83, he doesn’t show looks like a kid preany signs of slowing paring to trim the famdown, either. ily Christmas tree as Even on the day he puts the finishing before Thanksgiving, touches on another he was busy working creation. in the shrine work“No one knows the shop as if he were joy and satisfaction one of Santa’s reliof volunteering until able elves attempting Anchor person of the week — Richard you do it yourself,” St. to meet the Christmas St. Pierre. Pierre said, dismissEve deadline. ing the notion of ever “I saw so many other people volunteering here not been there since bring- getting paid for his work at at the shrine, it was some- ing my children years earlier the shrine. “It makes you feel good, and you meet many thing I wanted to do and felt when they were little.” people for whom you can make a difference in their lives.” Despite his clandestine work behind-the-scenes, St. Pierre said it’s all worth the effort when he gets his own Christmas gift every year. “I’m always proud when the Christmas display goes on for the first time,” he said. “I work year-round on the Christmas displays. … I put in a lot of hours here.” “Richard is very creative and works in our garage, making various displays and fitting them with lights,” said Father André “Pat” Patenaude, director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette. “He works all year long on Christmas displays and is a very good Catholic
who attends Mass here at the shrine every week with his wife.” Indeed, St. Pierre has become so closely linked with La Salette Shrine that when he and his wife Ruth returned to the area after briefly relocating to Florida, they started attending Masses every week in the shrine chapel. “When we came back we just never went back to our parish,” he said. “We started attending Mass at the shrine and we’ve been going there ever since.” St. Pierre said he’s been so blessed with a wonderful life — a loving wife and two children who still live in nearby Lincoln and Pawtucket, R.I. — that his volunteer efforts at La Salette Shrine are just a small way of repaying God for all he has. “Without my faith I would not have been able to face a lot of challenges in my life,” he said. “God has been good to me, and I am trying to thank him for everything I have in life by helping others.” And not only does going to work every day keep St. Pierre vibrant and active in his golden years, it also brings him a satisfying sense of joy and peace as they throw that switch and light up the annual display. “When the lights go on every year at La Salette, I always feel like we’ve outdone ourselves with the latest display,” he said. “To me, it just gets more beautiful every year. “La Salette will always be a place of peace for me.” To submit a Person of the Week nominee, send an email with information to fatherrogerlandry@anchornews. org.
December 3, 2010
Meeting Catholic producer helps agnostic make film about saint
Philadelphia (CNA) — A new film about a 20thcentury saint is being directed by a self-described agnostic and produced by a devout Catholic. “I thought it would be a fantastic challenge to give $40 million to a Hollywood director who is agnostic and leftist to tell a story about a Catholic saint,” said Ignacio Gómez-Sancha, the producer behind the upcoming film, “There Be Dragons.” “There Be Dragons” tells the story of St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of the Catholic organization Opus Dei (Latin for “Work of God”). Gómez-Sancha is producing the movie with director Roland Joffé, who calls himself a “wobbly atheist.” In the 1980s, Joffé’s films, “The Mission” and “The Killing Fields” earned him Academy Award nominations for best director. “The Mission,” which starred Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons as Jesuits in 18th-century Latin America, was later named by the Vatican as one of 45 “great films” about religion. In a recent interview with CNA, Gómez-Sancha said, “The reason why I decided to leave my life behind and dedicate two years of my life to this project is basically that ... I fell in love with the project and with Roland’s idea on Josemaría.” Gómez-Sancha, who is a member of Opus Dei, described how Joffé came to the project. The London-born director became fascinated with the Spanish saint in the wake of the bestselling book, “The Da Vinci Code,” which was later made into a movie. “The Da Vinci Code” presents a lurid vision of Opus Dei as a militant secret society in the Church. Controversy over the book and movie led Joffé to read the writings of St. Josemaría Escrivá. And though an agnostic, Joffé was captivated by the saint’s vision of heroic Christian faith and holiness. After seeing the screenplay Joffé wrote, Gómez-Sancha decided to give the director a chance. He gathered together investors to create a film fund and raised money for the project. He calls his efforts an expression of his faith. “It is very important to do movies in a profitable way with a good message,” he said. The story told in “There Be Dragons” is set during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. However, GómezSancha said that “the dramatic center of the movie is not actually the war, but what are called the ‘dragons’.” “The dragons,” he explained, “are anything that makes you suffer, the situations that life puts you in,” such as guilt, hatred, jealousy and betrayal. Gómez-Sancha stressed the importance of having “an agnostic like Roland” telling a story with “a message that is absolutely universal.” “The Spanish Civil War split families apart, split the society totally, and we are in deep need for an act of reconciliation,” he said. The film, he added, will show people “what a priest can be; what priesthood can be for society, in a moment where priesthood, in a way, is under scrutiny.” “There Be Dragons” is being filmed in Argentina. It will be released internationally in spring 2011.
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December 3, 2010
In new book, pope discusses 2008 trip to United States By Rita Fitch Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — In a new book, Pope Benedict XVI said that his trip to the United States “revitalized the positive energies of the faith” at a time when the clerical abuse scandal was back in the headlines. In the book, “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” the pope was asked about visiting the United States in 2008 when “the fallout from the abuse scandal occupied center stage.” “I think even non-Catholics were surprised that the visit was not some kind of challenge,” the pope responded. “It revitalized the positive energies of the faith and touched everyone who was present. Wherever the pope went, there were countless people, and there was a joy of being Catholic in the air that was quite incredible,” the pope said.
The pope said that at every appointment on his trip, including the liturgies in New York and Washington, there was “joyful participation, a sense of closeness, of communion, that touched me greatly.” Peter Seewald, the German writer who conducted the interview in July, also asked the pope, “Has the Catholic Church in the United States already surmounted the crisis?” “That might be an exaggeration,” the pope responded. But, he said, the crisis made the Catholic Church in the United States “aware of its fragility and of the problems and sin that are present in it. This is very important. In addition, there is an internal awakening to the need to overcome all these things and to live out and embody Catholic identity in new ways in our time.” The pope said that during the trip, he also had a chance to speak with victims of clerical sex abuse.
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a hairy situation — Animated characters are shown in a scene from the movie “Tangled.” For a brief review of this film, see CNS Movie Capsules below. (CNS photo Disney)
CNS Movie Capsules NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by Catholic News Service. “Faster” (CBS) Sour revenge flick in which a paroled convict (Dwayne Johnson) hunts down and slays those responsible for his brother’s death at the hands of a rival gang. On his trail are a scrofulous drug-addicted detective (Billy Bob Thornton) and a suave British assassin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Director George Tillman Jr. and screenwriters Tony and Joe Gayton assemble a series of foul cliches and then just let the actors rip. Multiple scenes of murderous revenge, slow-motion gun and knife violence, drug use, some profane and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” (Warner Bros.) The penultimate film in the wildly successful franchise based on J.K. Rowling’s fantasy novels finds the Hogwarts trio — Harry (Daniel Radcliffe, of course), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) — on the run, jumping all over Britain to escape the clutches of evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his Death Eaters. As the “Chosen One,” Harry is on a mission to destroy evil by locating the paraphernalia which sustains Voldemort, including the three items
that constitute the “Deathly Hallows.” Director David Yates’ adventure mirrors the darker and more violent tone of Rowling’s final volume, making this unsuitable for younger viewers. Much action violence with frequent peril, brief partial nudity in a sexual context, scenes of murder and torture, a few vaguely sexual references. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. “Tangled” (Disney) In this traditional animated offering based on the Rapunzel fairy tale, a golden-haired damsel (voice of Mandy Moore) imprisoned in a tower by an evil crone (voice of Donna Murphy) escapes with the help of a boastful
thief (voice of Zachary Levi). An equally dynamic and wholesome vehicle for its “love conquers all” theme, this family-friendly fantasy by directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard blends lighthearted romance, vigorous action sequences, humor via two funny animal characters, and music by composer Alan Menken into an entertaining whole. But the proceedings also include some mild swashbuckling violence, many slapstick pratfalls and a distinct but inoffensive pagan undertone as well as a potentially upsetting interlude that might be too intense for preschoolers. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, December 5 at 11:00 a.m. Celebrant is Father Edward J. Healey, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in West Harwich
December 3, 2010
y now mostly everyone should have heard the story of Buffalo Bills’ wide receiver Steve Johnson, who after dropping a sure game-winning touchdown pass in overtime last Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, blamed God on Twitter for the gaff. The Bills went on to lose the game. To paraphrase Johnson’s tweet, he told God he praises him 24/7 and “this is how you do me?” The 24-year-old went on to ask the Lord how he was supposed to learn from this experience and that he would never forget it, and then signed off with a sarcastic “thanks.” My initial reaction when I heard the story on Monday was, “What an arrogant, spoiled brat.” That was until I saw a replay of Johnson’s post-game press conference. To say the young man was distraught would be an understatement. As he choked back
Maybe it was God’s fault
tears, Johnson said he would live with this the rest of his life. He said the city of Buffalo would forget, but he never would. I didn’t see an arrogant brat at that podium. I saw a young man who was heartbroken, humiliated, and despondent. He felt badly for the fans he let down, and for himself at one of the lowest moments of his life. Many people will say that, “It’s just a game.” It is. To a degree. To diehard fans, it’s more than a game. Just ask any Red Sox fan after Game Six of the 1986 World Series, Game Seven of the 2003 American League Championship Series, or Super Bowl XLII. There was that “I don’t want to get up this morning” feeling the following days. To a professional athlete, it’s more than a game. It’s a living and it’s a way of life. Athletes
like Johnson have been playing ball since they were pups, and to make a major blunder like dropping an easy TD pass to win a game, especially at the highest level of play, must be crushing.
My View From the Stands By Dave Jolivet In fact, there was a pitcher for the then-California Angels, who was one strike away from sending his team to the World Series. Donnie Moore blew the save and the Red Sox went on to go to the Series that year. Moore was crushed, and years later committed suicide because of that low point and several others in his life. As far as Johnson’s message
La Salette Shrine: Lighting the path to the Christmas spirit continued from page one
whole evening on Friday.” People come by car or bus, and travel from neighboring towns or from neighboring countries, like a recent bus filled with holiday-makers from Ontario, Canada. The front parking lot holds 350 cars, and that turns over at least three times each night, said Brother Taylor, while the back lot holds about 600 cars, fills up just as quickly. “I say the feeling has been pretty darn good,” said Brother Taylor. “People have been coming and enjoying the lights, the concerts and the Masses — everything we have to offer here. The trolley is doing exceptionally well and the carousel for the children; they are having a great time.” For the Hall Family, going to La Salette has been a tradition dating back to when Robert Hall and his wife were kids. Driving from Easton with eight-year-old Kylie and three-year-old Drew, Hall says that it’s all about the lights and spending time with his family. Taking a bus trip from Hudson, N.H., senior citizen Lyn Tyler was a newcomer to the shrine and was happy to have a chance to get out with the group and enjoy the beautiful scenery. “I have never been here,” she said, “but I heard a lot of good things about it.” This year the shrine has gone “green,” right down to the popular flash mugs sparkling in people’s hands as they
walk along the paths, and the theme “Believe in the Gift” makes its presence known at the main Nativity scene. “The gift is Christ,” explained Brother Taylor. “That’s why at the Nativity set you see a ribbon and a bow, that’s the whole thing behind it. Jesus is the gift.” Gifts of a different sort were on visitors’ minds as they perused the gift shop. Rosaries, ornaments and candles seemed to be the most desired, along with framed prints of religious figures and scenes. While the figure of Our Lady was prominently displayed at the front, it was a furry little figure found in a basket near her feet that seemed to be drawing the most attention. “Clopper is a hit this year again,” said Brother Taylor. “Clopper” is actually a burro named Don Quixote, who is on loan and stabled at the main Nativity scene. “He has been a hit for the past two years, but now we have the plush animal Clopper, and that seems to be doing extremely well,” said Brother Taylor. The main Nativity may be the most often viewed, but the International Display of Nativity Sets is most appreciated, said Lucile Brane, volunteer at La Salette for the last 10 years. “When they make a comment after coming through here,” said Brane, “they are awe-inspired by the Nativity
to God, I don’t condone it but I understand it. I don’t want to be taken the wrong way here, but I’d rather see a message like that than had he sent “I don’t believe you exist anymore.” His anger towards God, however misdirected, shows an open line of communication with the Father. A good friend once told me that expressing anger towards God shows, at the very least, a personal relationship with him. And relationships are made up of good times and bad times ... asking for forgiveness and granting it. I’m pretty sure that most of us have been angry with someone and have let that individual know it. That doesn’t mean the end of a relationship. It’s an honest expression that, more than likely will lead to a reconciliation and the strengthening
of a bond. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been angry with God in the past, and probably at times, will be in the future. But whenever I’ve sent lightning bolts heavenward, I’ve also sent apologies when I came back to my senses. I believe that Steven Johnson will, if he hasn’t already, regret having ever sent that tweet. I believe he will also apologize to the Almighty, perhaps in as public a fashion as his lambasting. Johnson made two major mistakes last Sunday. Two gaffs that he can never take back. But given the chance, I’d tell him that those won’t be the last mistakes of his young life. He asked God what can he expect to learn from this. If he’s wise, Johnson will learn how to ask for forgiveness and a little bit of humility. If he does, he’ll remember the “day he’ll never forget,” as the day he became a man. And if that happens, it will indeed be God’s fault.
sets with all the different ones from all the different countries.” Regardless of why a visitor decides to make the trip to the shrine, Brother Taylor hopes the message stays with that person long after they leave. “I just hope people, like I’ve always said, come for the lights but don’t leave just because they’ve seen a lot of lights,” said Brother Taylor, “but appreciate Christ being born on Christmas day, and that they go home with that. And that the little ones really get the meaning of what Christmas is. That it’s not just gifts and lights but that Christ was born on Christmas day.”
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The Catholic Response
December 3, 2010
Vatican preparing new guidelines to fight abuse
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican is preparing a document for all bishops’ conferences offering guidelines for a “coordinated and effective program” of child protection and for dealing with allegations of clerical sexual abuse, said Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. During the evening session of a recent meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and about 150 prelates — members of the College of Cardinals and the 24 churchmen who received their red hats November 20 — the cardinal spoke about the Church’s efforts to deal with the abuse crisis. The cardinal “made some observations about the greater responsibility of bishops for safeguarding the faithful entrusted to them,” said a Vatican statement issued after the meeting. The statement said bishops should be “inspired by the words” of Pope Benedict and the way he has listened to victims of sexual abuse during his meetings with them. Cardinal Levada also spoke about “collaboration with civil authorities and the need for an effective commitment to protecting children and young people and for an attentive selection and formation of future priests and religious,” the statement said. While the cardinals were meeting at the Vatican, a small group of clerical sex abuse victims met with reporters in Rome and called on the Church to take further action, including releas-
ing the names of all accused The day of reflection began “These are nations that often priests around the world. with prayer and with Pope Bene- owe to Christianity the deepThe cardinals’ day of prayer dict introducing the first two est aspects of their identity and and reflection was held behind themes for discussion: religious culture, but one notes today a closed doors, although report- freedom and the importance of process of secularization with ers were allowed inside for the the liturgy. attempts to marginalize spiritual opening prayer. “He recalled that in the values from social life,” the VatiOne participant said that in Lord’s mandate to proclaim the can statement said. the discussion following Cardi- Gospel, the need for freedom One cardinal participating nal Levada’s presentation, sev- to do so is implicit, and yet in in the meeting said that during eral cardinals made the point that history this encounters various the discussion period, Cardinal clerical sex abuse is a problem forms of opposition,” said a Francis E. George of Chicago not only in the United States statement issued by the Vatican was one of the prelates who and Western Europe, and that all press office. spoke about how secularism is bishops’ conferences must have Jesuit Father Federico Lom- reducing religious freedom in his policies in place to deal with ac- bardi, Vatican spokesman, said country. cusations and detect Another participant, potential abusers beCardinal-designate he Vatican statement said that in fore they are ordained. Donald W. Wuerl of the discussion at the end of the Washington, told reA Vatican official told Catholic News meeting, bishops’ conferences were en- porters that while the Service that the doctri- couraged to develop “effective, quick, illicit ordination of nal congregation’s cir- articulated, complete and decisive plans bishops in China was cular letter to bishops’ mentioned during the for the protection of children” and that discussion on religious conferences around the world would encourage those plans should look toward bringing freedom, it was not a reporting every accusa- perpetrators to justice and assisting vic- major focus. tion to civil authorities tims, “including in countries where the He said a significant but would not mandate point was “the concern problem has not manifested itself in as for the erosion of rereporting because in some countries an ac- dramatic a way as in others.” ligious liberty in our cused priest could be own country, the enkilled without a trial. croachment on the free The Vatican statement said the day was “not an occasion for expression of freedom of conthat in the discussion at the end decision-making or votes, but science in our own institutions. of the meeting, bishops’ confer- for prayer and reflection, sharing Actually, I was surprised that ences were encouraged to devel- useful information and listening there were so many who spoke op “effective, quick, articulated, to the cardinals’ opinions.” to that.” complete and decisive plans for Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Regarding the United States, the protection of children” and Vatican secretary of state, gave he said there is a growing conthat those plans should look to- the presentation on religious cern that “religious freedom ward bringing perpetrators to freedom and the challenge of seems to be being interpreted justice and assisting victims, new limits being placed on the as freedom to worship in your “including in countries where exercise of faith in the modern house of worship, as opposed the problem has not manifested world. to the free exercise of religious itself in as dramatic a way as in While he looked at the situa- opinion and the freedom of conothers.” tion in Asia and in countries with science, particularly for our ina Muslim majority, the cardinal stitutions.” began with the situation in the He said Catholic institutions West, the Vatican said. increasingly face government regulations that make them choose between violating Catholic teaching or closing down. The cardinal-designate did not mention specifics, but, for example, Catholic agencies in at least two cities and states have had to stop offering adoption services when local governments
insisted that same-sex couples be allowed to adopt. Cardinal-designate Wuerl said he was not among the 18 cardinals who had an opportunity to address the morning session, adding, “Remember, I don’t have seniority.” The Vatican said 12 cardinals spoke during the evening discussion period, and many of them returned to the theme of how religious freedom is being threatened the in West. Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, gave the morning’s second presentation, looking at liturgy in the life of the church. In his introductory remarks, Pope Benedict told the cardinals that the liturgy is essential to the Church’s life “because it is the place of God’s presence with us; therefore, it is the place in which the truth lives with us,” the Vatican statement said. The morning session ended at 1 p.m. when Pope Benedict joined all the cardinals and cardinalsdesignate for lunch in the atrium of the Paul VI audience hall. Besides Cardinal Levada’s presentation on the clerical sex abuse scandal, the evening topics included the 10th anniversary of “Dominus Iesus,” a document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirming Church teaching that salvation comes only through Jesus; and the implementation of Pope Benedict’s norms for welcoming Anglicans into full communion with the Catholic Church. The bishops of England and Wales announced November 19 that the first personal ordinariate for former Anglicans, a structure similar to a military archdiocese, would be established in England in early January. The day before the cardinals’ meeting and the English bishops’ announcement, Pope Benedict met privately with Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Archbishop Williams told Vatican Radio he had spoken with the five Anglican bishops scheduled to join the ordinariate and he wished them well. He said he did not see the establishment of the ordinariate “as an aggressive act, meant to destabilize the relations of the churches,” but he said, “I remain skeptical about some of the bigger claims that are made” about the procedure contributing to Christian unity by bringing small groups of Anglicans into communion with the Catholic Church.
December 3, 2010
The Anchor regardless of where they live. “People have been very generous, and I think there will be a generous response,” he said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to be of assistance to those who really need help, and to make a real difference in the life of these children in very simple ways.” For those interested in donating to St. Rose of Lima
Parish in Guaimaca, Honduras, send donations to the Diocesan Office of the Propagation for the Faith. Please note on the check, “Advent Giving Tree” and the donation will be forwarded to the mission: Honduran Mission — Advent Giving Tree, 106 Illinois Street, New Bedford, MA, 02745.
home made — These are examples of the Giving Tree tags designed by children in the Diocese of Fall River’s mission in Guaimaca, Honduras. Father Craig A. Pregana, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish there told The Anchor that there are more than 20,000 parishioners living in the 25 outlying villages in the area. With most families having six or more children, the majority of the people live in poverty and only dream about the comforts most people take for granted.
Beyond the shade of the Giving Tree continued from page one
don’t have anything to open at Christmas.” “We do have a lot of families that without assistance, they really would have nothing,” said Amaral. “We do budgets for families all the time and by the time they pay their rent, they have nothing left. The giving tree allows their children to have something to open during Christmas.” A new type of gift tag is filtering through the diocese, where tree tags showcasing young Honduran children’s artwork will decorate many trees in the area, and bring to light Father Craig Pregana’s ministry in Guaimaca, Honduras. “This an opportunity to involve people here in our diocese in being aware of the needs of the parish in Guaimaca,” said Msgr. Oliveira. “I was able to visit in October. It is one of the poorest places in the world. The people are wonderful but are very poor. Some don’t even have electricity.” At Father Pregana’s St. Rose of Lima Parish in Guaimaca, there are more than 20,000 parishioners living in the 25 outlying villages in the area. With most families having six or
more children, the majority of the people live in poverty and only dream about the comforts most people take for granted. Clothing, towels, bed linens and, of course, toys are all found on the tags, but for a fraction of the cost of the items found here in the United States. “It’s not expensively done because you can’t buy any of that stuff for that price around here,” said Msgr. Oliveira. “I think this is an opportunity to provide things for the children things that they don’t usually have, and the idea of making it concrete is much easier than asking for a check.” “They know that they live in poverty,” Father Pregana said in an email to The Anchor. “They know that others live better than they do. You’ll notice on the gift tags that I listed things that are true ‘gifts’ here. They aren’t extravagant gifts, rather necessities that people will be able to use due to the kindness of people back home.” Father Pregana will have a lot of legwork to do, said Msgr. Oliveira, as he will have to travel outside of Guaimaca to find the items. Due to container ship-
This week in
ment costs, everyone involved knows it is more cost-effective to simply send money instead of trying to gather up certain items and shipping them. “We don’t really think about kids needing pencils or kids needing shoes,” said Msgr. Oliveira. “There is a lot work that he’s putting himself out to do to make the Christmas better for these children.” “The children don’t expect a gift at Christmas,” said Father Pregana. “They look forward to being with family. Although they are poor, they understand that they are richly blessed with faith and family.” The blessing of family is also present here at home. Already 500 families have applied through Catholic Social Services, and Amaral knows that people do not apply for themselves but on behalf of their children. “People are so grateful,” said Amaral. “We do get thank-you cards sent to us. They are very thankful for the gifts.” As the giving trees begin to pop up all over the diocese, Msgr. Oliveira is confident that people will continue to be charitable to families in need,
50 years ago — Diocesan priests attended a seminar on marriage counseling held on two consecutive days at the Kennedy Community Center in New Bedford and Sacred Heart School in Fall River. The seminar was conducted by Dr. Alphonse H. Clemens, director of the Catholic University Marriage Center.
10 years ago — With the retirement of pastor Father Henry K. Kropiwnicki, St. Casimir’s Church, which began as a mission of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in New Bedford to serve the city’s growing Polish population in the north end, rejoined its mother parish as a chapel.
25 years ago — After providing special education to mentally-challenged youth in the diocese for 28 years, it was announced that Nazareth Hall School in Fall River would be closed at the end of the academic year due to decreased enrollment.
One year ago — Bishop George W. Coleman joined with pastor, Father Daniel O. Reis, and the family of Immaculate Conception Parish in New Bedford for a special Mass commemorating the 100th anniversary of one of the oldest Portuguese parishes in the Fall River Diocese.
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December 3, 2010
cans ’a plenty — St. Mary’s Parish in Fairhaven celebrated Mass the Monday before Thanksgiving with parishioners bringing in non-perishable food items to be donated to the Shepherd’s Pantry, a food bank that helps service families in need in the South Coast area. The younger students of the parish’s Faith Formation classes wore pilgrim hats or wrapped Native American bands with feathers around their heads, and during a special moment in the Mass were asked to bring up their canned goods to be placed in tubs to be blessed by Father Patrick Killilea. Pictured is altar server Owen Murray taking canned goods from a line of very young “pilgrims.”
a matter of trust — Recently, eighth-graders from St. MarySacred Heart School in North Attleboro took part in a day of team building activities at the North Attleboro Branch of the Hockomock YMCA, an annual tradition to kick off their last year together as a class. The goal of the “Ropes Course” is to develop communication and cooperation skills. The class was facilitated by two trained YMCA staff members. The students first listened to a presentation about team work and its components. Following the presentation, the students took part in a series of mental and physical group challenges including obstacle courses and various problem solving activities. From front: Meaghan Lawler, Madelyn Sweet, John Wheatley, and Monique Desrochers work on the Ropes Course Team Challenge as “secret agents escaping across a pressuresensitive floor.”
all in this together — Members of OneFAN, a fund-raising organization made up of students and mentors from three area high schools: North Attleboro, Attleboro, and Bishop Feehan, met at North Attleboro High School where they painted a beautiful mural in preparation for their biggest fund-raising event — the Thanksgiving Day football game. The money collected helps to feed the less fortunate at the annual Edward Tedesco Memorial Dinner at the South Attleboro Knights of Columbus on Christmas Day. OneFAN members collected money at the gate. Here, members of OneFAN proudly display the mural, “OneFAN … three schools. One cause.”
in it for the long haul — Thirty-five employees were recently honored for their years of service at St. Vincent’s Home in Fall River. Fourteen reached five-year milestones, 12 reached 10-year milestones, five reached 15-year milestones, three reached 20th-year anniversaries, and one her 25th year anniversary. At the Staff Tenure Ceremony, Executive Director Jack Weldon presented each with an award engraved with their name and years of service.
auction action — St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro recently held an auction at the school for students. Parents donated more than 150 items that were set up for bidding in the gym. Tickets were sold at school and winners were announced at the end of the school day. The money raised will be the students’ contribution to the school’s annual auction and major fund-raiser, held at Christina’s in Foxboro. Shown are fourth-grade students bidding on their favorite items, from left: Maggie McLaughlin, Lauren Chapman, and Colleen Carroll.
December 3, 2010
encore — This cast of characters from Grade Four at Holy Name School in Fall River recently performed the holiday play, “Thanksgiving for Silas” for the rest of the student body.
Bishop Stang freshman selected as ‘Green Rocker’
NORTH DARTMOUTH — Michael Kalisz, a 14-year-old honors student at Bishop Stang High School was recently selected as one of only seven teens from throughout New England to serve as a “Green Rocker Ambassador” for the coming year. In conjunction with the GreenSchools program, he will perform at school environmental fairs, festivals, fund-raising events and the annual Youth Summit. Kalisz has studied piano since age five. After his first public performance at seven years old, to a capacity crowd at the Zeiterion
Theatre, he has accompanied the Youth Choir at St. Francis Xavier Parish and has been featured at community events, schools, local television shows, and more. He has performed as a member of the trio “Sugar & Spice,” and as the keyboard player/vocalist in the bands, “Pure Sarcasm” and “Zero Gravity.” This summer, he was selected as the Overall Winner at the Music On & Up (13 and under) Showcase and has returned to perform at Boston’s Hard Rock Café as a featured performer for the Young Performer’s Club. Kalisz performed at this year’s Bos-
it’s easy being green — Bishop Stang freshman Michael Kalisz is shown here performing at the Hard Rock Café in Boston.
ton GreenFest and has always shown an interest in green energy. For all three years of his middle school science fair involvement at St. Francis Xavier School, he focused on green energy alternatives (Hydroelectric Power, Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Microbial Fuel Cells) and received awards at the local, regional and/or state level each year. The Green Rocker Program enables young performers to help the initiative to support green living programs in schools and communities throughout New England. The mission of the organization is to create “greener” and healthier learning environments through education and awareness. GreenSchools executive director, Robin Organ, states “The Green Rocker program is a creative and artistic extension of our current Student Ambassador Program for Middle/High School students. Green Rockers will play a key role in educating students, schools, and communities about the need for environmental action and advocacy. Our Green Rockers are amazingly talented environmental stewards who teach through their music. We are honored to be working with such a talented group of young artists.” The 2010/2011 Green Rockers hail from Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. More information about the GreenSchools Program can be found at www.projectgreenschools.org.
young adorers — A display of children visiting the Baby Jesus is one of many Christ-centered decorations at the Festival of Lights at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro. (Photo by Rebecca Aubut)
The Anchor is always pleased to run news and photos about our diocesan youth. If schools or parish Religious Education programs, have newsworthy stories and photos they would like to share with our readers, send them to: email@example.com
December 3, 2010
Bioethics Center posts free videos online continued from page one
in union with the Vatican — Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a solemn vigil for all nascent human life at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent. Bishop George W. Coleman led a prayer service for human life with diocesan faithful last week, in union with the pope’s call for all Catholics to join him in prayer for that purpose.
Bishop, diocesan faithful pray for human life continued from page one
of those who have acted against human life. As evening approached in North Dartmouth, St. Julie Billiart opened its doors for a prayer service to unite in prayer with the pope and the universal Church, and filled the church with song. The holy hour with sung Vespers was lead by Bishop George W. Coleman, who began his homily with a reference to the pope and his worldwide appeal to Catholics to pray for those young lives who do not have a voice. “This evening in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a solemn vigil for all nascent human life,” said Bishop Coleman. “The vigil included eucharistic devotion to thank the Lord for his total self-giving to the world and for his Incarnation, which gave every human life its real worth and dignity.” Throughout its existence,
the Catholic Church has been a guardian of human life, with prayer being the foundation of the efforts, he said. To help guide those in prayer, papers were distributed to encourage a year of Pro-Life intentions by a weekly Sunday devotional supplication beginning on the first Sunday of Advent and ending next year. As Bishop Coleman continued his homily, he reminded people of the power of prayer. “This evening, our prayer dwells on how that love extends to all nascent human life; human life in its earliest stages, human life in its most fragile state, yet human life, nonetheless, and loved by God,” said Bishop Coleman. “Our prayer vigil this evening for all nascent human life is meant to become a cry of all humanity rising up to God our Father, giver of all good things, in order that every human life be
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respected, protected and loved. The deeper our appreciation of God’s great love for every human life, the more motivated we will become to pray and act, that every human life be protected in an era which countless thousands, and even millions, of young, fragile defenseless human lives have been taken.” Mary McClusky, the Special Projects Coordinator at the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the call is especially important at a time when attacks on the dignity and worth of human life seem to be at an all-time high. “At this moment in history, when societies are now endorsing the killing of humans as a perceived solution to social, economic and environmental problems, the Holy Father is reminding us of the necessity and power of prayer to protect human life, said McClusky, through her blog. She said the pope’s call may help increase awareness among family and friends about abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, and other threats to children in their earliest days and weeks of life while women who have had abortions may be inspired to learn more, or to begin a much-needed conversation about healing from a past abortion. As those gathered at St. Julie’s sat and listened, Bishop Coleman touched on the effect the worldwide gathering would have on others appreciating the gift of human life. “As we pray in Christ’s presence, we deepen our understanding of his love for every human person,” said Bishop Coleman._
front, and anyone interested in viewing future postings can subscribe to that channel. All content is free and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Bradford said the NCBC hopes to reach people searching the Internet for answers to difficult questions about healthcare. Already more than 1,500 people contact the center each year through their 24/7 medical emergency telephone line. The YouTube videos have the potential to reach many more people who are increasingly turning to the Internet for information. “The Internet has provided such a rich, if not confusing, resource for people to pursue answers to their questions,” he said. “We’re just so visually oriented and so sound-bite oriented.” Bradford recognized the limitations of the medium, saying that the entirety of Church teaching cannot be condensed into four-minute videos. But the videos can serve as a starting point for people in need of moral guidance. The first video posted is an introduction to the NCBC by Dr. John M. Haas, the center’s president. Calling the NCBC, a “great treasure of the Church,” he notes that it was established in 1972 in order to provide Catholic guidance on medical and life science practices. The center staff is comprised of theologians, philosophers, canonists and medical professionals, he said. Bishops providing guidance to hospitals in their dioceses and healthcare professionals seek the NCBC’s advice. Doctors and nurses know what procedures they are able to perform, but come to the NCBC to learn which are the moral procedures so that they can truly respect the dignity of their patients. And Catholics caring for their ailing family members also turn to the NCBC, he said. “People call us with very difficult situations — a loved one is on a respirator, there’s no hope of recovery. They call and they want to know what the Catholic Church teaches as to what they should do in these very difficult situations,” he said. “We try to bring the comfort and understanding of our Catholic moral tradition to bear.” In a video on end of life decisions, Edward J. Furton, an NCBC ethicist, said that physicians come to family members to seek their guidance as a patient approaches death. “End of life decision making comes, by its very nature, at the worst possible time,” he said.
Furton made a distinction between ordinary and extraordinary means of treatment. The first is obligatory and should be easy to perform and likely to be helpful. The latter is optional and may cause difficulty for the patient and may not have clear benefits. Sometimes procedures that would be ordinary for one patient may be extraordinary for another. End of life decisions are not one size fits all. Much depends on the patient, he added. In the final video currently posted, Father Tad Pacholczyk speaks about how Catholic healthcare is unique. The Church’s approach to the care of the sick continues the healing mission of Jesus Christ, he said. “In doing this, though, it always does it in a very specific way, tied into a mission recognizing that the dignity of the human person must be respected at all stages and steps of that process of healing. We have to be involved in authentic healing,” he said. “It means that if somebody comes to a Catholic facility and requests that we end the life of the child in their womb by abortion, then we will never do that. It means that if they come to us and wish to be sterilized, that we will never engage in acts like that that involve the mutilation of a healthy and functioning body. If they come to us and ask us to end their lives because of suffering or difficulty, we will not do that, but we will share compassion with them.” He added that the Church does not only offer physical cures. She seeks to guide patients to spiritual healing as well. Catholic hospitals assist the sick in finding peace with God and neighbor by providing the sacraments of Communion, confession and last rites. The Church wants to help the suffering in this life and lead them to the next. In an interview with The Anchor, Father Pacholczyk said that as time goes on, people will increasingly depend on the Internet for information. “It seems to me that a lot of people in the future are going to be moving towards more purely digital approaches to information,” he said. “YouTube is a very well-known resource in the world of online video, and I think that it’s simply another way we can reach out to and evangelize people who are more and more relying on digital content to be able to learn even very basic things about their faith or morality or ethics.”
December 3, 2010
Preparation for implementation of new missal continuing
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catechetical preparation to implement the new translation of the Roman Missal next Advent is proceeding in U.S. parishes “with much enthusiasm and wide acceptance by both clergy and laity,” according to the outgoing head of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship. Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., who concluded a three-year term as chairman at the close of the recent bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore, affirmed the timeline for implementation of the new missal and disputed what he called “a report surfaced through some segments of the Catholic press.” The 36-page report is titled “Areas of Difficulty in the Received Text of the Missal” and cites what it said are problems of mistranslation, omission and repetition in the missal translation that received “recognitio,” or confirmation, from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments in August. Bishop Serratelli said the final review and copy-editing process has uncovered “some minor questions of consistency, typographical errors and layout” that are being addressed by the congregation.
In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks Dec. 6 Rev. Joseph L. Cabral, Pastor, Our Lady of the Angels, Fall River, 1959 Rt. Rev. Msgr. John H. Hackett, JCD, Chancellor, June-December 1966, 1966 Rev. Joseph K. Welsh, Retired Pastor, Our Lady of Victory, Centerville, 1971 Rev. John T. Higgins, Retired Pastor, St. Mary, Mansfield, 1985 Dec. 7 Rev. Thomas F. Daley, Retired Pastor, St. James, New Bedford, 1976 Rev. Ambrose Bowen, Retired Pastor, St. Joseph, Taunton, 1977 Rev. James W. Clark, Retired Pastor, St. Joan of Arc, Orleans, 2000 Dec. 8 Rev. John F. Broderick, Pastor, St. Mary, South Dartmouth, 1940 Dec. 9 Rev. Rene Patenaude, O.P., Retired Associate Pastor, St. Anne, Fall River, 1983 Dec. 10 Rev. Thomas C. Briscoe, Former Pastor, St. Anne, Fall River, 1918 Rev. Andrew S.P. Baj, Former Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, New Bedford, 1971 Dec. 11 Rev. Edward L. Killigrew, Pastor, St. Kilian, New Bedford, 1959 Dec. 12 Rev. Paul F. McCarrick, Pastor, St. Joseph, Fall River, 1996
Around the Diocese 12/4
Christ the King Catholic Women’s Club will host its annual Christmas Bazaar in the hall of Christ the King Parish, Mashpee Commons, Mashpee, tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature a raffle, jewelry, white elephant table, children’s shopping room, bakery and treats table, food and much more.
A “Festival of Lights Walk” will take place at La Salette Shrine, 947 Park Street (Route 118), Attleboro tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a choice of an 11- or five-kilometer (6.8- or 3.1-mile route) and both trails are rated easy walks. The walk is sponsored by the Walk ‘n’ Mass Volkssport Club. For more information call 508-222-1152.
COURAGE, a welcoming support group for Catholics wounded by same-sex attraction who gather to seek God’s wisdom, mercy and love, will meet tomorrow at 7 p.m. For location information, please call Father Richard Wilson at 508-992-9408.
A Day with Mary will take place tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Our Lady of Assumption Parish, 76 Wianno Avenue, Osterville. It will include a video instruction, a procession and crowning of the Blessed Mother along with Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and an opportunity for reconciliation. For more information call 508-984-1823.
Sung vespers will be celebrated Sunday and every Sunday in Advent at St. John the Baptist Parish, 945 Main Road, Westport beginning at 7 p.m. Come join in praising God using the prayer of the Church. All psalms, hymns and canticles are in English and all are welcome.
The Legion of Mary will hold its annual reunion Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Parish, South Dartmouth. The program will begin with recitation of the rosary, followed by entertainment by each praesidium. All are invited to attend.
“I Hear the Prophet Calling,” a contemporary Advent cantata by Pepper Choplin, will be presented by the Cathedral Youth and Adult Choirs Sunday at 3 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River. All are welcome and a freewill offering for the church’s Organ Fund will be accepted.
St. Joseph-St. Therese Church, New Bedford, will host its fifth annual Holiday Craft Fair Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the church hall featuring a variety of crafters, entertainment and great food.
The annual “Deacon Joseph Stanley Mass of Hope and Remembrance for Our Children” will be celebrated at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Deacon Stanley and his wife Estelle, who lost a child at a young age, were the “founding parents” of this annual Mass for bereaved parents who have experienced the loss of a child in pregnancy, infancy, sudden death, illness, accident, murder or suicide. For more information call 508-775-5744.
19 Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese Acushnet — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Mondays, Tuesdays, 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, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays end with Evening Prayer and Benediction at 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays end with Benediction at 2:45 p.m. ATTLEBORO — St. Joseph Church holds eucharistic adoration in the Adoration Chapel located at the (south) side entrance at 208 South Main Street, Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to midnight, with overnight adoration on Friday and Saturday only. 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, 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 Freetown — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. John Neumann Church every Monday (excluding legal holidays) 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady, Mother of All Nations Chapel. (The base of the bell tower). EAST 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 eucharistic adoration every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Chapel of Reconciliation, with Benediction at noon. Also, there is a First Friday Mass each month at 7 p.m., followed by a Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration. Refreshments follow. FALL RIVER — 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. FALL RIVER — Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover Street, has eucharistic adoration Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady of Grace Chapel. FALL RIVER — Good Shepherd Parish has eucharistic adoration every Friday following the 8 a.m. Mass until 6 p.m. in the Daily Mass Chapel. There is a bilingual Holy Hour in English and Portuguese from 5-6 p.m. Park behind the church and enter the back door of the connector between the church and the rectory. Falmouth — St. Patrick’s Church has eucharistic adoration each First Friday, following the 9 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 4:30 p.m. The rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. HYANNIS — A Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration will take place each First Friday at St. Francis Xavier Church, 21 Cross Street, beginning at 4 p.m. MASHPEE — Christ the King Parish, Route 151 and Job’s Fishing Road has 8:30 a.m. Mass every First Friday with special intentions for Respect Life, followed by 24 hours of eucharistic adoration in the Chapel, concluding with Benediction Saturday morning followed immediately by an 8:30 Mass. NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic adoration takes place 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 233 County Street, with night prayer and Benediction at 8:45 p.m., and confessions offered during the evening.
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.
NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place every First Friday at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring Street following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with Benediction at 6 p.m. The rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 8 a.m.
Public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary will take place in the chapel of the Father Peyton Center, 518 Washington Street, Easton on December 8 beginning with rosary prayer at 9 a.m. Mass will follow at noon. For more information, call 508-238-4095. Holy Family Parish, 370 Middleboro Avenue, Taunton, will host its 20th annual Advent Lessons and Carols on December 12 beginning at 4 p.m. The Cranberry Brass Quartet will perform this year and following the service there will be other entertainment and refreshments served in the parish center.
A Healing Mass will be held at St. Anne’s Church, 818 Middle Street, Fall River on December 16 at 6:30 p.m. Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. with Benediction and healing prayers after the Mass.
SEEKONK — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish has eucharistic adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508-336-5549.
OSTERVILLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 76 Wianno Avenue on First Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and every Friday from noon to 5 p.m., with Benediction at 5 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. WAREHAM — Adoration with opportunities for private and formal prayer is offered on the First Friday of each month from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, High Street. The Prayer Schedule is as follows: 7:30 a.m. the rosary; 8 a.m. Mass; 8:30 a.m. exposition and Morning Prayer; 12 p.m. the Angelus; 3 p.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet; 5:30 p.m. Evening Prayer; 7 p.m. sacrament of confession; 8 p.m. Benediction. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street (Rte. 28), holds perpetual eucharistic adoration. We are a regional chapel serving all of the surrounding parishes. All from other parishes are invited to sign up to cover open hours. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716. WOODS HOLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Joseph’s Church, 33 Millfield Street, year-round on weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No adoration on Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays. For information call 508-274-5435.
December 3, 2010
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