Diocese of Fall River
F riday , February 19, 2010
Bishop Coleman’s 2010 Lenten Message ‘Live as Children of the Light’
February 4, 2010 Dear Friends in Christ, ooking at the ancient roots of Lent, we focus on this season’s origin as a time of preparation for baptism. Today the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults follows this same approach in preparing men and women for the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. In
our Lord. We are conformed to his likeness in his death on the cross; we are transformed by his resurrection. We have died with him, so that we may also live with him forever. This gives us great hope. t. Paul makes us aware of baptism as a sacrament of transformation. He speaks to the baptized as new creatures: “You should put away the old self of your former way of life […] and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth” (cf. Eph 4:22-24). He goes on to say: “You were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light” (Eph 5:8). his means that as disciples of Christ, we are called not only to meditate upon the fact of our baptism, but also to respond to it, to live it out. During this holy time of year, we recommit ourselves to prayer, to helping the poor, and to telling others about Jesus and our experience of him and of his love in the Church. In this way, the light of Christ will radiate from us and enlighten our world. ay your journey through Lent prepare you for the greatest feast of the Church year — Easter — and to receive the blessings of the new life it promises us.
Lent, each Sunday’s readings reveal a mystery of Christ’s identity and of the new life in the Spirit. e who are already baptized may ask, “What is this season’s significance for us beyond a formal observance of fast and abstinence or giving something up? How can we rediscover its spiritual meaning?” Lent calls us to ponder anew our own baptism: our profession of faith, the promises we made to reject sin, and our Christian vocation to holiness of life. aptism is the sacrament in which we share in the death and resurrection of
Sincerely yours in the Lord, Bishop of Fall River
holy ground — Linda Santo, mother of Little Audrey Santo, whose sainthood cause has been opened by Rome, stands beside her late daughter’s bed in Worcester. Several physical and spiritual healings are said to have occurred at the home, as well as vocations to the priesthood fostered, statues and pictures exuding oils or blood, and five consecrated hosts exhibiting human blood. The picture on the bed of Audrey shows signs of blood, as does the statue of the Blessed Mother to the rear left of the bed. (Photo by Dave Jolivet)
Mother of Little Audrey Santo carries on daughter’s message of God’s infinite love Linda Santo to speak at St. Kilian’s Parish February 26 By Dave Jolivet, Editor
WORCESTER — When asked when she thought her daughter Little Audrey was special, Linda Santo quickly replied, “When I
was pregnant with her.” Santo told The Anchor that she had cervical cancer at the time she was pregnant with Audrey, and “the doctors thought I wasn’t pregnant,
but it was a tumor. I told the doctors, ‘Well this tumor is going to be running around some day.’” That “tumor” turned out to be Turn to page 18
Deacon composes Stations with links to Year For Priests
By Deacon James N. Dunbar
FAIRHAVEN — Asked to consider how adult evangelization might play a part in the ongoing diocesan celebration of the Year For Priests, Deacon Bruce J. Bonneau worried about adding another event to the already busy calendar of most parishes. “Then it came to me that the Stations of the Cross traditionally held in parishes during Lent, mostly on Fridays, would be a good forum, because they are all about loving the heart of Jesus, which is what the priesthood is all about,” Deacon
Bonneau told The Anchor a week before Lent began. “The Stations and the priesthood reflect Christ’s passion too,” he added. “There is a cost to discipleship, and it usually is the way of the cross, often called the road to salvation,” he said. “And we begin to realize, as we make the Stations, it is more about falling down that raising ourselves up.” In his mediations for the Third Station, when Jesus falls the first time, Deacon Bonneau wrote: “Lord Jesus Christ, creator of all the universe, you Turn to page 14
Sacred Hearts Retreat Center sets new course for apostolate B y Deacon James N. Dunbar WAREHAM — Even as it extends its retreat programs out to those seeking spiritual renewal, the popular Sacred Hearts Retreat Center for Spirituality here plans its own renewal by way of a proposed $20 million addition to its current facilities, including a new
chapel. “It’s exciting and it will be done in stages,” reported Sacred Hearts Father Stanley Kolasa, director of the complex on 118 acres of quiet woodlands and waterfront property on Buzzards Bay conducive to prayer and contemplation, located at 226 Great Neck Road.
“The new orientation is that while we are booked up for every weekend in the coming year — we don’t simply host retreats, but are giving them with our own personnel — and will be reaching out by going out ourselves and bringing retreats to people too,” Father Turn to page 14
News From the Vatican
February 19, 2010
Marriage preparation project presented to pope Pontiff affirms importance of task VATICAN CITY (Zenit.org) — The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family presented to Benedict XVI a project for developing a new handbook for marriage preparation. Cardinal Ennio Antonelli made the presentation of the plan for this “vademecum” in a meeting with the pope on Monday, the first day of the council’s three-day plenary assembly. He thanked the pontiff “for this meeting, from which we will surely receive energy, joy and inspiration for our work in favor of the family and of the Church in the world.” L’Osservatore Romano noted that Benedict XVI has often given “special attention to problems of the family,” with his “frequent and incisive references to it,” often recurring in “his illuminating interventions.” In the Holy Father’s address to the assembly participants, he underlined the need for a period of catechesis and activities for couples preparing for marriage, so that this sacrament will be perceived “as a gift for the whole Church, a gift that contributes to its spiritual growth.” He continued, “Moreover, it is good that the bishops promote the exchange of the most significant experiences, that they offer stimuli for a serious pastoral commitment in this important sector, and show particular attention so that the vocation of the spouses becomes a richness for the whole Christian community and, especially in the present context, a missionary and prophetic testimony.” The pontiff called this project of the elaboration of a vademecum for marriage prepa-
ration an “important task.” Cardinal Antonelli also addressed the pope, giving a presentation on the activities carried out by his dicastery after the sixth World Meeting of Families, held in Mexico City in January of 2009. He noted that “the principal conclusions of Mexico City were in line with the instruction ‘Disciples and Missionaries’ of Aparecida, which highlighted the fact that the Christian family is called to be today, with particular urgency, a subject of evangelization in the ecclesial aspect and a subject of socialization in the civil aspect.” Consequently, a pastoral program is needed “for and with families and a policy for and with families,” the cardinal added. The Holy Father acknowledged various initiatives being carried forward by the council is planning two specific projects that correspond to these perspectives, to “raise awareness of the fundamental value of the family for the life of the Church and of society.” “Among these,” he said, “are the project ‘The Family, Subject of Evangelization,’ which intends to collect, at the world level, valid experiences in the various areas of family pastoral care, so that they will serve as inspiration and encouragement for new initiatives; and the project ‘The Family, Resource for Society,’ which intends to make evident to public opinion the benefits that the family brings to society, to its cohesion and its development.” The council is also working to organize the seventh World Meeting for Families, scheduled to take place in 2012 in Milan, Italy.
saintly sight — People attend a prayer service after the relics of St. Bernadette Soubirous were carried into the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. The relics arrived to Rome from Lourdes, France, ahead of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, also World Day of the Sick. Lourdes and St. Bernadette have been associated with the sick and healing since Mary’s appearance to the peasant girl more than 150 years ago. (CNS photo/Emanuela De Meo, Catholic Press Photo)
Conversion breaks bonds of selfishness, Pope Benedict says in Lenten message By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — Conversion to Christ gives people the strength to break the bonds of selfishness and work for justice in the world, Pope Benedict XVI said in his message for Lent 2010. “The Christian is moved to contribute to creating just societies where all receive what is necessary to live according to the dignity proper to the human person and where justice is enlivened by love,” the pope said in the message released February 4 at the Vatican. Latin-rite Catholics began Lent February 17 while most Eastern-rite Catholics began the penitential season February 15. The theme of the pope’s message was, “The Justice of God Has Been Manifested through Faith in Jesus Christ.” The common understanding of “justice,” he said, is to give each person his or her due. But because people are created in God’s image, they not only need food, water, shelter and jobs; they need God and they need love, he said. The greatest sign of God’s love is the gift of salvation in Christ. When people accept that gift, the pope said, they recognize that they are dependent on God. “Conversion to Christ, believing in the Gospel, ultimately means this: to exit the illusion of self-sufficiency in order to discover and accept one’s own need — the need of others and God, the need of his forgiveness and his friendship,” the pope wrote. The Vatican invited Hans-
Gert Pottering, the former president of the European Parliament and president of Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation, to present the pope’s message to the press. Pottering said the basic call of the pope’s message is “to work in union with our creator on our responsibility in the world.” “In these words — charity, solidarity, fraternity — lie the key to a true understanding of the responsibility of Christians in the world,” he said. “Solidarity or charity implies the responsibility to defend and protect the universal dignity of any human being anywhere in the world under any circumstances.” Pottering said unfortunately modern politics has placed so much emphasis on promoting freedom and equality that it has almost ignored the obligation to promote solidarity and fraternity. For example, “whereas Europe and the world have already invested unimaginable sums for the fight against the finan-
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cial crisis, the implementation of charity leaves much to be desired, especially in the fight against hunger in the world,” he said. More than a billion people live on less than $1.50 a day, he said. AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are devastating the world’s poorest nations, and pollution is destroying the air, water and farmable land. The international reaction to the financial crisis demonstrates that “international cooperation can overcome huge challenges. A similar firmness is equally necessary in the fight against worldwide poverty,” Pottering said. On a concrete level, he called on all countries and all airlines to join the UNITAID project, which works with the World Health Organization to buy bulk quantities of anti-AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis drugs using funding from a $1 or $2 surcharge on airline tickets. The minor increase in the cost of a plane ticket, he said, “could help ease the misery in the world.” OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 54, No. 7
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February 19, 2010
The International Church
Agencies confront major challenges in mapping aid response in Haiti By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Aid agencies mapping their responses to best meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Haitians hurt and left homeless by the powerful January 12 earthquake are facing challenges unlike any encountered in previous natural disasters. Agencies such as Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Internationalis are widely credited for their expertise and rapid response to a variety of emergency situations. But the large-scale destruction in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area and the tremendous number of people in need pose a daunting scenario even for veteran humanitarian workers. Gaye Burpee, deputy regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at CRS, said the challenges are the result of the instability still surrounding the lives of the earthquake victims. Almost a month after the earthquake, aid workers continue to focus on meeting basic emergency needs such as food, water, health care, sanitation and security, leaving little time to consider what next steps to take, Burpee explained. “No one wants to duplicate efforts because there is way more to do than any one agency or government is capable of doing,” Burpee told Catholic News Service at the CRS compound in the capital’s Delmas borough. Working in conjunction with Caritas Haiti, Philippe Mougin, senior emergency officer at the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, the development and relief agency of the English and Welsh bishops, said meeting immediate needs has stressed Caritas workers. “This is challenging indeed.
It can compare only with the response to the tsunami (in 2004),” Mougin said. “At the minute we’re focused on implementing the plan for the emergency response.” With the emphasis still on meeting emergency needs, leading relief agencies meet daily under the auspices of the United Nations to discuss what’s working and what’s not. The meetings involve representatives of major agencies, including CRS, Partners in Health and World Vision, among others. All have large operations in Haiti. As the response continues, Burpee has been charged with assembling a six-month plan of action for CRS. She is gathering information from workers spread throughout the 100-mile-wide earthquake zone and will deliver a report in the coming weeks of how the agency can better utilize its resources. Longer-term planning is futile she said “because the situation is so fluid that to sit down here now in Haiti and to say this is what we’re gong to be doing over five years is a bit of hubris.” “What we’re working on for the first six months is survival and sustaining life,” Burpee added. Looming over the meetings is the knowledge that the rainy season in Haiti starts in April, and not far behind that is hurricane season. Isaac Boyd, an emergency shelter expert for CRS in Kenya who now advises the agency in Haiti, said numerous organizations are trying to determine how to move thousands of homeless Haitians to more secure locales, primarily outside of Port-au-Prince. Admittedly, Burpee said, the movement of thousands of people can pose a problem for the rural communities and small towns re-
ceiving them. She said any plan must include funds for additional food delivery, health care and support for schools as the rural areas absorb hundreds or even thousands of people. She also said she expects that CRS will have less of a presence in the capital at some point, leaving agencies with the expertise to lead the reconstruction effort. “Our traditional expertise is in rural areas with latrines and potable water ... with education, agriculture, livelihoods. So we can work in some of the rural areas that are overloaded with internally displaced people and help those people find livelihoods,” she said. For now, for those staying in the city, CRS has contracted with a firm in the Dominican Republic to provide 400 portable toilets at various tent sites. The toilets are being provided under a $1.5 million contract that calls for the company to clean the toilets daily and has built-in penalties if toilets are found to be unsanitary, Burpee said. The Haiti program is Catholic Relief Services’ largest, running at about $30 million annually prior to the earthquake. Through February 9, CRS had raised $41.7 million for Haitian earthquake relief, reported John Rivera, the agency’s director of communications. Caritas Internationalis, a Vatican-based confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social services organizations from around the world, had raised $25 million for earthquake relief, Mougin said. Through February 3, donations to U.S.-based relief agencies have totaled more than $644 million, according to statistics gathered by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The suffering continues — A boy in a wheelchair is pushed along the street in front of the destroyed Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Port-au-Prince recently. The large-scale destruction and the great number of people in need following Haiti’s January 12 earthquake pose a daunting scenario even for veteran humanitarian workers. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
February 19, 2010 The Church in the U.S. Abstinence programs get nod from study but still set to lose funding By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON — A new study about the effectiveness of abstinence education is good news for those who teach the topic, but it also could be too little, too late. Abstinence educators welcomed the study published February 1 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a monthly journal. The study showed that young teens who were given an abstinence-only message were significantly more likely to delay having sex than those who received a more comprehensive sex education. The research has been getting attention because it is said to be the first rigorously conducted study demonstrating the effectiveness of an abstinence-only program. It was released just a week after the Guttmacher Institute published a study showing that America’s teen pregnancy rate rose three percent in 2006 after a 10-year decline. How the Guttmacher data is interpreted seems to depend on one’s position. Some blame the uptick in the number of teen pregnancies on the use of abstinence-only programs, but advocates of abstinence education say there are a variety of social and cultural factors in play. Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, called it a “simplistic charge” to “naively lay wholesale blame on abstinence
education as the cause for higher teen birth rates.” A week later, when the abstinence study was released, Huber seemed more upbeat, saying the study “verifies what we’ve known intuitively all along, which is that abstinence-only education is a very important strategy to help young people delay having sex.” The abstinence study used random trials involving a group of 662 AfricanAmerican sixth- and seventh-graders. Only about a third of the group who completed an abstinence-education program started having sex within the next two years, researchers found. Nearly half of the students who attended other classes, including ones that combined information about abstinence and contraception, became sexually active. John Jemmott, the lead author of the abstinence study and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said he doesn’t want either side of the issue to read too much into the research. “This is one study,” he said, adding that he hopes it will spur other researchers to design similar studies with different populations in order to have “a body of evidence.” Judith Vogtli, director of ProjecTruth, an abstinence-education program run under the auspices of Catholic Charities of Buffalo, N.Y., is all for more studies, say-
ing she liked the fact that this study directly compared the effectiveness of different sex education approaches. “We’re not afraid” of more research, she told Catholic News Service February 4, noting that those in the field know anecdotally that their programs work and that they welcome more proof. She also hopes studies such as this one will not just provide a boost for the abstinence-only movement but possibly enable them to regain federal funding such programs receive that is set to end this September under the Obama administration’s 2010 budget. The administration announced last year that it was cutting more than $170 million in annual federal funding for abstinence programs and instead was launching a $144 million pregnancy prevention initiative that would only fund only programs
that have been shown scientifically to work. There is currently a measure in the U.S. Senate to restore about $50 million to abstinence education, but its passage is uncertain. According to the National Abstinence Education Association, more than 130 programs around the country — serving roughly 1.5 million youths — could be affected by the cut in federal funding. Vogtli, whose program has been offered at Catholic and public schools since 2001, said it has “been in (financial) jeopardy” since it started and will not be able to continue without federal funds. She is not about to give up though, urging those who visit the program’s website — www.ccwny.org/projectruth — to write to congressional leaders and push them to reinstate funding for abstinence education.
Cardinal: Group’s support of gay marriage not true Church teaching By Nancy Frazier O’Brien Catholic News Service WASHINGTON — The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has denounced a Maryland-based organization for its criticism of Catholic efforts to defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman and said it does not offer “an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching.” Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago said that since the founding of New Ways Ministry in 1977, “serious questions have been raised about the group’s adherence to Church teaching on homosexuality.” “No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice,” Cardinal George said in a statement. “Like other groups that claim to be Catholic but deny central aspects of Church teaching, New Ways Ministry has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church and ... cannot speak on behalf of the Catholic faithful in the United States,” he added. New Ways Ministry, based in Mount
Rainier, Md., describes itself as a “gaypositive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian and gay Catholics and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities.” It was co-founded in 1977 by Sister Jeanine Gramick and Salvatorian Father Robert Nugent, who were ordered by the Vatican in 1999 to stop their ministry to homosexuals because “ambiguities and errors” in their approach caused confusion for the Catholic people and harmed the church community. After they continued to speak and write about homosexuality, the two were directed in 2000 not to speak publicly or write about the topic or about the Vatican actions. Father Nugent accepted the discipline and is in parish ministry, but Sister Gramick refused and continues on the lecture circuit. Because she defied the Vatican ban and faced expulsion by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, she left the order and joined the Sisters of Loretto in 2001. She made her final vows with her new order in June 2004, and her activities are still associated with New Ways Ministry.
February 19, 2010
The Church in the U.S.
Archbishop Sheen returns to TV WATERTOWN (CNS) — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is back on television, 30 years after his death. Excerpts from his Emmy Award-winning television program, “Life Is Worth Living,” began airing in January on CatholicTV, a national television network streaming a live feed 24 hours a day at www.CatholicTV. com. “Life Is Worth Living” originally was broadcast from 1951 to 1957, attracting 30 million weekly viewers. CatholicTV’s “Fulton Sheen” programs airs at 10:30 a.m. Mondays, 3:30 a.m. Tuesdays and
saints alive ! — New Orleans Saints fans cheer during a victory parade for their team February 9 in New Orleans. The Saints returned home to celebratory crowds after their first-ever Super Bowl win — a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. (CNS photo/Lee Celano, Reuters)
Metuchen opens sainthood cause for Venezuelan mystic who died in U.S. By James McEvoy Catholic News Service METUCHEN, N.J. — The sainthood cause has formally opened for Maria Esperanza Medrano de Bianchini, a Venezuelan woman believed to have seen 31 apparitions of Mary who spread worldwide a message of family reconciliation and fraternal unity that she said Mary relayed to her. “We gather together as a people filled with faith believing in the gift of God,” said Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski, who presided at the ceremony and bilingual Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral in Metuchen January 31. “We believe God gives us men and women of fine example who show us the way to Jesus Christ. “Today, we begin the cause for Maria Esperanza, a woman of faith and we pray as this faith community that God will recognize her through his Church as one of his saints,” he said. The Mass, which was concelebrated by 29 priests, drew more than 1,100 people, including family members, a 60-member choir and others from Bianchini’s native Venezuela. Approximately 300 people watched the simulcast in a nearby hall. Bianchini reportedly first saw an apparition of Mary in 1976, but she became a world-renowned figure after Mary reportedly appeared to her and 150 others at a farm named Finca Betania in Venezuela on March 25, 1984. Mary is said to have appeared under the title “Mary, virgin and mother, reconciler of all people and nations.” The apparition was deemed valid by Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo of Los Teques, Venezuela, in 1987. A biography of Bianchini notes she was endowed with the “gift of healing, the gift of counsel, dis-
cernment of spirits, visions, locutions, ecstasies, levitation, the odor of sanctity, the stigmata ... and the ability to read the hearts of others.” An ecclesiastical tribunal has been established to gather witnesses, documents and other evidence to determine the holiness of Bianchini. The process will include gathering hours of testimony from more than 100 witnesses, said Lori
holy woman — A portrait of Maria Esperanza Medrano de Bianchini is displayed at St. Francis Cathedral in Metuchen, N.J., during a recent ceremony opening her cause for sainthood. (CNS photo/Patrick J. Carroll, The Catholic Spirit)
Albanese, diocesan chancellor and notary. The questioning of witnesses began February 8. During the ceremony in the cathedral, her husband, Geo Bianchini, thanked the diocese, the tribunal and the congregation for their devotion to her. He said he was grateful to God for allowing him to be a part of her
life and emphasized the importance of her mission for unity and family. “We continued to be mystified by the life of Maria Esperanza,” said Father Timothy E. Byerley, a Camden priest who is vice postulator of her cause. “She wanted to teach us the way of love, the Gospel of love. If you want to know about her life, that was it.” Father Byerley, who met Bianchini through friends who invited her to speak at Marian conferences in New Jersey, thanked those gathered for the Mass. Following the ceremony, Coromoto Bianchini, one of Bianchini’s daughters, said she only realized how special her mother was when she ventured out into the world. “Since we were kids we were living among the supernatural,” she told The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Metuchen Diocese. “We understood the world differently.” Maria Gracia Bianchini, another daughter, said the ceremony “was like a dream” and emphasized her mother’s desire to strengthen the bonds of family. Born on Nov. 22, 1928, Bianchini was the mother of seven children and grandmother of 20 children. In 1979 she created the Betania Foundation, a lay movement designed to evangelize, educate and develop the well-being of society and family life and promote social justice. Her family continues the mission of the foundation. Bianchini died after a long illness on Aug. 7, 2004, at age 75 at a private residence in Long Beach Island, which is in the Trenton Diocese. Because of financial reasons, the canonization cause was transferred to the Metuchen Diocese.
12:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Fridays (all times Eastern). Archbishop Sheen’s cause for canonization was formally opened by the Vatican in 2003. CatholicTV began broadcasting as the television station of the Archdiocese of Boston in January 1955, airing the Sunday Mass for those unable to leave their homes. It now airs more than 60 programs, producing about 40 percent of them at its studio in Watertown. CatholicTV is available nationally on Sky Angel and its cable presence is primarily in the New England region on major carriers.
Responding to the crisis of faith and truth on Catholic campuses The Catholic Church as a whole has its work cut out to respond adequately to the secularizing push of American culture. In Catholic homes, parishes, schools, Religious Education programs, hospitals, and dioceses, there are plenty of challenges to go around to pass on the fullness of the Catholic faith to the next generation. Since Christianity is not a body of teachings but a way of life, the Church at every level exists to help make disciples, those who not only know what God has revealed through Christ and the Church he founded, but who live in communion with that teaching. One of the most pressing areas for the Church to rise up to meet this challenge of forming disciples is at Catholic colleges and universities. These ecclesial institutions have the responsibility of forming the young at the time when they are beginning to make life-changing decisions about their future, when they are evaluating beliefs and values and deciding to own or discard them, and when they are determining what type of person they want to be and become. A survey published earlier this month by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate showed that Catholic institutions of higher learning as a whole are not yet getting the results the Church hopes for and legitimately expects with regard to helping Catholic students grow in faith during their university years. The CARA study looked at data from students at seven unidentified Catholic colleges and universities who were extensively interviewed as freshmen in 2004 and then again as juniors. On a range of issues regarding the living of the Catholic faith, the researchers examined whether Catholic colleges were helping students become more or less faithful. “Regardless of where students began their college journey,” the researchers stated, “Catholic colleges should be helping students move closer to Christ, and certainly doing a better job of moving students toward the Catholic faith than secular colleges do.” They sought to determine not merely what the percentages were on metrics of Catholic practice, but more precisely, what changes were taking place in student beliefs and practices during those years. In order to put the results of Catholic institutions into context, the researchers compared them to data taken from Catholic students at public universities, at nonCatholic religious institutions and at private secular ones. The results showed that Catholic universities were doing slightly better than their non-Catholic counterparts in preventing the erosion of the Catholic faith, but that far more students on Catholic campuses were changing for the worse rather than for the better. With respect to Mass attendance overall, only 42 percent of Catholics juniors on Catholic campuses reported that they attend Mass regularly, but the study also showed that for the students who changed their practice, 32 percent said that they attended Mass less frequently over their first two years of college, in contrast to only seven percent who said that they were attending more frequently. These results show that, while there are obviously many issues involved, Catholic colleges and universities as a whole are not doing an adequate job in engaging students and helping students learn how to make Jesus in the Eucharist the source and the summit of their life. The steep challenge they face in doing so was illustrated by the control groups: 42 percent of Catholics in public colleges, 51 percent in non-Catholic religious colleges and 49 percent in nonsectarian institutions stopped going to Mass as frequently during the same two-year period. The erosion in Mass attendance, therefore, while less at Catholic colleges, is still disturbing: one-third of students begin to give up the regular practice of the faith in Catholic institutions. The results also show that Catholic institutions are not really doing an effective job of helping students who are not attending Mass frequently as freshmen to increase their practice: researchers found there was basically no difference between Catholic and non-Catholic institutions in attracting non-practicing Catholic students to Mass. The survey revealed similar results on the issues of the defense of human life and the Catholic understanding of the institution of marriage. Fifty-six percent of Catholic juniors at these seven Catholic colleges and universities say they disagree either strongly or somewhat that “abortion should be legal,” but among those who changed their opinion during their first two years in school, 31 percent moved away from the Church’s position and only 16 percent became more Pro-Life due to the influence of their Catholic school. This was not statistically different from what occurs in Catholics at non-Catholic institutions, where there were net losses of 17 and 19 percent from the Church’s position. On Catholic students’ attitudes toward the redefinition of marriage, the results were more stark. “On no other issue do Catholics move further from the Church — regardless of the type of college they attend — than on same-sex marriage,” the researchers wrote. Only 32 percent of Catholic juniors at Catholic colleges and universities disagreed somewhat or strongly with the statement that same-sex couples should have the right to marry. During their first two years of schooling, 39 percent of Catholic students at Catholic institutions had abandoned the Church’s teaching and 16 percent had grown to adopt it, a loss of 23 percent of students overall (which mirror the changes that occur for Catholic students at non-Catholic institutions). Therefore with regard to helping to prevent the secularization of Catholic students’ understandings of marriage, Catholic colleges show no success at all in comparison with non-Catholic institutions. Jesus’ parable of the Sower and the Seed illustrates that no matter how good the seed and how effective the sower, sometimes the seed doesn’t take root because the soil on which it falls is hardened, superficial, or thorny (Mk 4:3 ff). That is clearly relevant here. Even on campuses with the most effective campus ministry programs, faithful and energetic faculties, and vibrant Catholic cultures, many students will resist the Gospel. At the same time, however, we would expect, as the researchers did, that time on a Catholic campus should in general help Catholic students grow closer to Christ than drift further away from him — especially in comparison to non-Catholic institutions — and that the changes that occur in the hearts of students would be changes for the better. That’s not happening in the seven representative Catholic schools that have been surveyed. It raises the question of whether the proclamation of the Gospel on these campuses has been sufficiently “salty” (Mt 5:13) to counteract the secularizing forces of culture and to help students see why what the Church teaches is the path to true freedom and genuine human fulfillment. Pope Benedict, when he spoke to leading representatives of American Catholic universities and colleges in Washington, D.C. in April 2008, called attention to the “crisis of faith” that often underlies the “crisis of truth” on Catholic campuses, which this survey seems to confirm. He encouraged Catholic institutions of higher learning to make as their top priority helping young people grow in faith in Jesus Christ, which will then lead to a deeper trust in what he taught and what he did in founding the Church as the bulwark of truth to continue his saving work. “A university or school’s Catholic identity,” he said, “is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students. It is a question of conviction — do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man truly become clear? Are we ready to commit our entire self — intellect and will, mind and heart — to God? Do we accept the truth Christ reveals? Is the faith tangible in our universities and schools? Is it given fervent expression liturgically, sacramentally, through prayer, acts of charity, a concern for justice, and respect for God’s creation? Only in this way do we really bear witness to the meaning of who we are and what we uphold.” That’s a challenge that needs to be taken up anew, with greater fervor, after the results of the recent CARA study.
February 19, 2010
Grapplin’ with the Grappin “The first time the devil came to torment love for Our Lady, reluctantly needed to have me,” St. John Vianney recounted to catechism it removed. He began to reproduce the sound students many years later, “was one night at 9 of a hammer driving nails into the wooden p.m., just as I was about to go to bed. Three floor of the bedroom, or the din of drumming loud knocks resounded on my courtyard door, on metal water jugs or pots and pans, or the as if someone wanted to break it in with an cacophony of splitting wood or sawing the enormous sledgehammer. I immediately wainscoting. He would shake the house for 15 opened my window and asked, ‘Who is it?,’ minutes or more like an earthquake. He would but I saw nothing and went quietly to bed, topple chairs and convulse the furniture in the recommending myself to God, to the Blessed room. He would roar like wild animals. He Virgin Mary, and to the holy angels. I was not would stampede like cattle and sheep in the yet asleep when three more knocks made me bedroom, or the living room below, or the roof jump. These were more violent than the first, above. He would imitate the noise of hundreds and seemed to strike not against the outside of bats flying all over the room. door but against the one at the foot of the stairs On some occasions, the devil would get leading to my room. I got up and cried a sec- more personal. He would emulate the voice of ond time, ‘Who is there?’ No one answered.” a sensual vixen and try to seduce the Curé into His first reaction was that the sounds likely sexual sins. On other occasions, he would do had a nefarious but very natural explanation. the opposite, calling out with a hideous voice “When this noise began, I imagined it was various threats and insults, like “Vianney! Visome thieves who wanted the beautiful orna- anney! Potato eater! You’re not dead yet! I will ments [given by] the Viscount of Ars, and I you get all right!” thought it would be wise to take precautions. After all of this failed to get the priest to I asked two courageous men to come to sleep quit, the devil started to cross the line from at the rectory, to lend me a strong hand in case “infestation” or harassment to “obsession” or of need. They came several nights in a row; physical violence. Father Vianney would feel they heard the noise but discovered nothing, the sensation of an unfriendly hand passing and were convinced that this uproar had been over his face to suffocate him, or rats running caused by someall over his body, thing other than or a swarm of the malice of bees buzzing men.” around his ears The Curé of and entering his Ars went on to mouth, nose and detail how he beears. The devil came convinced would even get By Father that the sounds so bold on cerRoger J. Landry were coming tain occasions from the father as to grab the of all malice. priest’s mattress “One winter night when it had snowed hard, — with him on it — and pull him across the there were three heavy knocks in the middle room, or grab him by the ankles and yank him of the night. I jumped hurriedly from my bed, off the bed. seized a lamp and went down into the courtThese types of occurrences happened for yard, thinking I would surely find the culprits three and a half decades. in flight and intending to call for help. But to There were many nights in which Father my great surprise, I saw nothing, I heard noth- Vianney wasn’t able to sleep at all because of ing, and what is more, I found no footprints in these harassments. When he would show up the snow. I then had no further doubt but that it pale in church at midnight to begin hearing was the devil who wanted to frighten me.” confessions, many of the women would think Those nights in 1824 began 35 years worth that he was ill. “The grappin bothered me to of diabolical infestation, when the devil seemed such a degree,” he would tell them truthfully, to pull out all the stops to harass the priest “that I haven’t slept a wink all night.” “Grapwhose work in the confessional was freeing pin,” the French word for the three-pronged so many from the evil one’s grasp. Almost all pickaxe — featured in popular imaginary deof the molestations took place at night, during pictions of the devil — was the way he prethe couple of hours Father Vianney would try ferred to refer to his molester. to get some rest before returning to the Church Unlike in other areas of his life where out at midnight to hear confessions. The devil, it of humility he would hide the various graces seems, wanted to interrupt his sleep so that he God had given him, Father Vianney never might not be able to carry out his heroic work ceased to tell people, including his catechism in the confessional the following day, or, if he students, about what the devil was doing to were not able to thwart him completely, to fa- him. This was a means by which he could help tigue him so that he would not be filled with them to recognize that the devil was real and the same amount of charity and burning zeal why they should despise and reject him, his in carrying out those ministrations. Father Vi- evil works and empty promises. anney refused to let the devil succeed. For many of the residents of Ars, however, Once the priest had discovered that the they didn’t need these confirmations, because devil was the one behind the loud banging they were able to hear the terrifying noises on the doors and had begun to ignore them as coming each night from their pastor’s bedmuch as he could, the evil one began to change room. They were amazed that anyone would tactics — and he employed an almost infinite try to sleep there. The boys of the village variety of vexations. would come to place their ears on the front The devil started to make the noise of a door and to listen to how the devil would insult whole army speaking a foreign language with their parish priest. The former “bodyguards” ugly, guttural phonetics right outside his bed- from 1824 would tell visitors of what it was room window. At first, Vianney was drawn out like to be in the house in the early days during of bed to see what was causing that foreign the “earthquakes.” One night in 1857, when convention. Upon seeing no one there, how- Father Vianney was in the sacristy at Church, ever, he realized that it was just another instan- everyone saw a fire coming from his bedroom. tiation of the same infernal pestering. When they got to the room, they discovered Next, Father Vianney began to hear the cur- the mattress and bedding totally scorched, but tains of his bed being torn in the darkness. He noticed that the fire had stopped suddenly, and was convinced, at first, that mice and rats had humanly inexplicably, right before a relic of gotten into his room. He began to shake the cur- St. Philomena. This convinced Father Vianney tains to frighten away any and all rodents, but that the fire, and its suppression, did not come when he awoke in the morning, he found the from natural causes. “Since he could not have curtains totally undamaged. After a few nights, the bird,” the priest simply said, “he burned Father Vianney began to recognize that this, too, the cage.” was just another annoyance from below. How did Father Vianney respond to the deThe devil began to up the ante. Each night cades of harassment? We’ll see next week. he began to cover a painting of the AnnunFather Landry is pastor of St. Anthony of ciation with dung until Father Vianney, out of Padua Parish in New Bedford.
Putting Into the Deep
February 19, 2010
t is said that parish priests have a significant influence on awakening the call of God to priesthood in the young men in their parish. For me that parish priest would be Father Anthony Kacevicius, a young Lithuanian curate at St. Margaret’s Parish in Rumford, R.I. His modeling of the priesthood is one of those mysterious and unconscious influences the Spirit used silently and subtly to raise the consciousness in a young teenager to that call to serve. Once recognized and accepted by me, the early priestly mentoring and support was provided by Father Edmund Mullen, a seasoned pastor with a savvy sense of Church and ministry and a keen compassion for people, who at the time was serving as pastor of St. Joseph’s in Hope Valley. My seminary years provided an ample variety of scholarly educators, and there were several who influenced my thinking and values in those early developmental years. The first was a Jesuit, Father Mortimer Murphy. Another was Father James Conefrey, whose firm discipline and caring kindness was recognized and remembered by many priests in the Hartford Archdiocese. There were also other academics like Msgr. Russell Collins in philosophy,
It’s all about relationships
Fathers Philip King in Scripture result of his encouragement we and James O’Donohoe in litcommitted ourselves to meet urgy and moral theology. Their monthly for prayer, theologicompetence in their disciplines cal reflection, social time and and effectiveness as teachers fraternal support. During that impressed many a seminarian in first year we had shared the Boston. experience with some of our The saying, “Tell me who other brother priests who also you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are,” also reflects my develYear For Priests opment as a priest. In Vocational Reflection the summer of 1969 the Diocese of Fall River changed the priest’s By Father annual retreat policy. James Morse We would no longer be required to make our annual retreat at Catheexpressed interest in what we dral Camp, but were given the were about. And so over the option to choose our own venue. next two years an additional 30 That August I chose to join 14 priests from the diocese became other priests from our Fall River involved in the process bringing Diocese at the Jesuit Retreat the total participants to more House at Round Hill in South than 40 priests. Dartmouth. The group was I didn’t realize it at the time made up of young priests newly but that week at Round Hill in ordained as well as older priests August of 1969 was to have a in their 60s. Our present Ordiprofound effect on my spiritual nary, Bishop Coleman, was one life and ministry. This simple of those 14 priests. The Spirit and unassuming model that the was touching us not only indi15 of us had experienced that vidually but also as a group so summer and the subsequent much so that the director at the follow-up years would become end of the retreat observed that the basis of a Ministry to Priest it would be a missed moment Program that would extend of grace to walk away from the around the English-speaking fraternal priestly bonds that had world. Thanks to the generosity formed during the week. As a of my bishop, I was to become
ometimes the idea of working in the missions is easier than the reality, especially in the rainy season. Usually in November the rain starts and the temperature drops until early January. This year the rain continued into January, which made travel very difficult because of the dirt roads. There are only a few paved roads in the center of town and the rest are dirt, including the roads that lead to the outlying villages. Last week we were scheduled to celebrate Mass in one of the furthest villages called “Piñuelas.” It is about a two-hour ride from Guaimaca, up and down mountain roads. For those who have visited the Mission, the ride takes us past Rio Abajo, up beyond the chapel in San Marcos, down the mountain road through Majastre and up the other side to Piñuelas. The countryside is beautiful but the roads are narrow and very slippery in the rain, much like the streets of New England in the winter. It was lightly drizzling on the day of the Mass but the roads didn’t seem too bad when we left Guaimaca. Alexis was driving and three of the servers were in the truck with their backpacks filled with the vestments and things for Mass. Since the schools are on vacation, the servers enjoy the adventure of trips to the villages. The parishioners who live in the
a small part of a worldwide program for priests. For approximately 20 years I traversed large parts of this world, working with priests in 65 dioceses in the United States, 19 dioceses in Canada, 15 dioceses in Australia and 14 dioceses in England and Scotland. It was a profound privilege to come to know so many dedicated priests interested in coming closer to God through dialogue with their brother priests. They shared their joys and struggles, their failures and successes, their hopes and disappointments, their concerns and visions with one another and a brother priest from a far away diocese in southeastern Massachusetts. It was an opportunity to share in the universal solidarity with priests that I could never have imagined, let alone hoped for. It was a defining experience in my commitment to the priesthood. This was a time for deepening growth of my love for priests and my joy at being in their presence. What I learned from this ministry is that priests like all people develop in a world of relationships. I learned that growth is holistic, touching all aspects of who we are as
persons. Through the process I became aware of the uniqueness of the person and the journey, the fact that learning is lifelong, and that to say “yes” to his invitation to follow him is to set out on an exciting adventure and great love affair! I feel profoundly privileged to have experienced both. As I approach retirement I only wish I was able to do it all over again. Spending time with priests is easy for me. Perhaps it’s a natural fit with my extroverted personality or the common lifestyle that we share. I know that it is an important part of my spiritual life, right up there with prayer, the Eucharist, and theological reflection. Certainly there are times when it’s inconvenient to get together, but I’m always energized when I make the extra effort. It’s a discipline that has reaped great rewards for my spiritual growth. These are some of the priests who helped make me the priest I have been. There are many other men and women who have taught and formed me in my journey back to God but that’s another story for another time. Father Morse was ordained in 1967 and is pastor of St. Stephen’s Parish in Attleboro.
Not every day is a good day villages form part of the parish family As we traveled by San Marcos the of St. Rose of Lima and are grateful rain was a bit steadier and the truck had to have Mass trouble climbcelebrated ing the hill past each month. the chapel but They prepare we were able to the songs; make it to the they decorate top near MajasBy Father the altar, and tre I. We then Craig A. Pregana even prepare a came to the hill simple lunch leading down as a way of the mountainexpressing thanks for making the trip side to Majastre II. Alexis took the to the village. turn and started down the road when
river road — Travel in Guaimaca, Honduras is challenging most of the time, but especially so during the rainy season, generally from November to January. (Photo courtesy of Father Craig A. Pregana)
the truck began to slide. As he shifted gears, the truck continued to slide toward the edge of the road near the cliff. The roadside — and my life — were rapidly passing before my eyes. There were screams in the car; I say it was the servers, they say it was me. All I know is that there was shouting. The truck began to turn as it slid down. Suddenly, we came to an abrupt stop and we were now facing the direction from which we had come. (Since the roads don’t have guardrails, I like to think we have “God rails.”) After recovering my breath, and finishing the Act of Contrition, I took it as a sign that we should head back to Guaimaca. The community would understand and Mass would wait for another day. Although not every day is a good day at the Mission, the parishioners understand that the Church is doing its best to reach out and support their faith, as well as spread the Gospel message. The Diocese of Fall River continues to put into practice the mandate of Jesus: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Even in the rain. Father Craig Pregana was ordained in 1988 and is pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Guaimaca, Honduras. www.FallRiverMissions. com.
oday we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent and as we begin our Lenten journey we hear the Gospel of Luke describing Jesus’ journey into the desert for 40 days and being tempted by the devil. For any of us who have spent time in the desert it is an incredible roller coaster of extremes in weather from extreme high temperature during the day and bone chilling cold at night. Those types of changes can certainly play games with our minds and bodies and put us under extreme pressure. Jesus not only has to deal with the isolation of the desert but then the devil arrives and tempts Jesus to succumb to him and his power and away from his mission. The first temptation is to turn a stone into bread when Jesus is hungry. He tells the devil, “One does not live on bread alone.” How many of
February 19, 2010
Temptations are more than a singing group us go on a healthy diet regime We hear stories all the time and are tempted by our old about lottery winners’ lives habits for sweet and unhealthy getting worse, not better. The foods even though we know only kingdom worth having is a healthy diet is better for us? the Kingdom of God. MateWe should remember we are rial goods cannot buy our fed by God’s word and the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Homily of the Week In the second tempFirst Sunday tation the devil shows of Lent Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and tells By Deacon him he can give him John W. Foley the power to rule over all the kingdoms if he would only worship the devil as his superior. Jesus entrance into the Kingdom of responds to the devil, “You God. shall worship the Lord your The final temptation put God, and him alone shall you forth by the devil to Jesus serve.” How many of us are is to throw himself off the tempted to spend more money highest point of the Temple, than necessary on lottery ticktesting God to save him with ets, jeopardizing our financial his angels. Jesus tells the situation, all for the chance to devil, “You shall not put the win extremely large sums of Lord, your God, to the test.” money, hoping it will bring How many of us are living us happiness and security? our lives on the edge, putting
material goods and social entitlements ahead of having a life of prayer and faith? When we live our lives on the edge, we test God. We need to trust God. Our every day lives are full of temptations, from the simplest temptation of an extra piece of cake for dessert to life changing ones, such as turning way from God and risking eternal damnation and life with the devil. There are many Catholics who have fallen away or actually left the Church over the years, for many different reasons. Many of us know some people like this; do we try to help them to return to the Church and a life with Jesus? Just as the devil tempted Jesus away from God, we can “tempt” them to return, to reconcile with the Church, and begin anew a life with
Jesus Christ. The good thing to remember is that most of this is within our grasp. We need to have a strong prayer life; we need to attend Mass regularly and hear the word of God and be fed with the Body and Blood of our savior Jesus Christ. Lent is a good time to ask for forgiveness from Jesus for those times we have succumbed to temptation and not acted they way he intended us to. He gave us the sacrament of reconciliation to allow us to repair and rebuild our relationship with him for those times we have strayed off course. He is always there for us; he never gives in to the temptation to abandon us. We should always pray that we won’t be tempted to abandon him. Deacon Foley serves at Holy Trinity Parish in West Harwich.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Feb. 20, Is 58:9b-14; Ps 86:1-6; Lk 5:27-32. Sun. Feb. 21, First Sunday of Lent, Dt 26:4-10; Ps 91:1-2,10-15; Rom 10:8-13; Lk 4:1-13. Mon. Feb. 22, feast of The Chair of Peter, Apostle, 1 Pt 5:1-4; Ps 23:1-3a,4-6; Mt 16:13-19. Tues. Feb. 23, Is 55:10-11; Ps 34:4-7,16-19; Mt 6:7-15. Wed. Feb. 24, Jon 3:1-10; Ps 51:3-4,12-13,18-19. Thur. Feb. 25, Est C: 12,14-16,23-25; Ps 138:1-3,7c-8; Mt 7:7-12. Fri. Feb. 26, Ez 18:21-28; Ps 130:1-8; Mt 5:20-26.
our days after my son-in-law, Rob Susil, re-entered Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he would die of an aggressive sarcoma on February 5, the Church marked the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and read the Gospel of Simeon’s prophecy to Mary — that a “sword will pierce through your own soul” (Lk 2:35). That image of a sword, often described as a sword of sorrow, is the first of the traditional “seven dolors” of Our Lady of Sorrows, commemorated throughout the Church on September 15, the day after the feast of the Triumph of the Cross. Yet if Our Lady is the
Robert Charles Susil, 1974-2010
first of disciples and the model Rob, as a specialist in radiation oncology completing his Hopof Christian discipleship, then kins residency, was a valuable the sword of sorrow must pass through each disciple’s life, too, configuring us more closely to the Son from whose pierced side flowed blood, water and the Church. All of us who loved and esteemed Rob By George Weigel Susil have been pierced by that sword in recent weeks. He and and beloved member. There my daughter, Gwyneth, had are, however, things that even fought gallantly against his sarcoma since it was diagnosed the best medicine cannot do, at even the greatest medical in March 2008, with the able centers in the world. So those assistance of the entire Hopwho loved Rob and shared his kins medical family, of which deep Catholic faith prayed for a miracle, and were joined in that prayer by people all over the world. The miracle did not come; we know, however, that those prayers opened channels of grace and healing of which we are unaware, but for which we are grateful. When Rob and Gwyneth first started seeing each other seriously, and after we were
The Catholic Difference
introduced, my wife said, “So, what do you think of Rob?” “Think?” I replied. “Smart, handsome, funny, 110 percent Catholic, loves Gwyneth, and likely to have an income. He’s straight out of son-inlaw Central Casting.” He was so much more, though. Rob was a brilliant young scientist, who held M.D. and Ph.D. degrees — and who didn’t tell me that he had co-authored numerous scholarly articles until I saw the galley proofs of a forthcoming one when I was helping him and my daughter move into their first apartment. He had a great appetite for learning; weakened by chemotherapy and anemia, he was nevertheless maintaining his research program, and the day before his last hospitalization, I was planning to drive him to Philadelphia so he could work on an academic paper with a colleague. He was an extraordinarily committed husband and father: he and my daughter shared one of the great marriages I have been privileged to witness, packing a superabundance of love, devotion and mutual support into five and a half years, and his joy in being “daddy” to William was itself a joy to behold. And he was a man of faith, whose
faith sustained his good humor, his clear-mindedness, and his determination during an illness about which he, a consummate young professional, knew all too much. That faith was matched by Gwyneth’s; more than one friend, in the week before Rob died, described Gwyneth’s strength and dignity as that of a biblical heroine. I am a suspect witness, of course, but I could not agree more. When I put Gwyneth’s hand into Rob’s at the foot of the altar at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Bethesda, Md., on Aug. 16, 2004, the day of their wedding, I was able to get out three brief sentences before my throat tightened up and my eyes became misty: “You two are great. Be great for each other. Let Christ be great in you.” Gwyneth and Rob were all of that, and more, as they finished medical school together, did residencies together, brought William into the world together, and felt the sword of sorrow pierce their souls together. All of that good lives on, I am certain — as I am certain that I shall pray for the divine assistance through my son-in-law’s intercession in the future. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
February 19, 2010
Give ’em heartburn who he is. During the breaking of Sunday 14 February 2010 — the bread (Eucharist) they finally at home in Old Dighton Village — St. Valentine’s Day (traditional) ccording to Luke 24:32, it’s Easter Reflections of a Sunday, in the evening, Parish Priest and two disciples are in a dither because they know By Father Tim about the crucifixion of Goldrick Jesus but not yet about his resurrection. Jesus appears, walking beside them, but recognize him. They later comment, “Were not our hearts burnthey are too distraught to realize
The Ship’s Log
ing within us?” Their hearts were on fire. This was not the kind of “heartburn” that requires antacid. The priests of the Taunton Deanery have been lately discussing the effectiveness of Religious Education classes for children. The concern is that children who are present in the classroom are often not in attendance at Sunday Mass. All agreed that
Big band o’ brothers
When Kathleen was a junior octor Coleen Duggan rein high school she called Colin coils inwardly whenever to warn him about the girl he people tell her they could never was dating. It really put his nose have a large family like her. out of joint to discover his sister She says that they didn’t all knew what he was up to even come at once, except in the case though she was four hours away of the twins, Thomas and Kevin. at a boarding school keeping Well, there’s the Irish twins as an eye on Jonathon, their next well, meaning two of them were younger brother, who had earned born within the same year. In all, a scholarship there. But he lisnine strapping boys and one very tened to her anyway. feminine girl over a spread of 13 For her part, she had to be years. selective of the boys she would But she and her husband, Dr. Thomas Murphy, weren’t alone in their efforts to take good care Lavishly of their children. In big Generous families the siblings are intimately involved in Love raising each other. From a young age, the older By Joan Kingsland kids start helping out with the younger ones. Changing diapers, bring to the house, knowing her giving the little ones a bath, helpbrothers would be rude to the ing to feed them, playing with poor guy who didn’t measure up them and reading them stories to their standards. Few did. Her etc. is often part of the daily brothers’ opinions mattered to routine. It’s an exercise in love. her and she can admit now that And it comes very naturally, just was a good thing. part of one’s family identity and Since the five eldest boys strong sense of belonging. were all athletic and close in age And the kids help to raise the (including the twins), they once parents as well. Coleen says that formed their own volleyball team her children have made her the for a tournament. That weekend way she is now. Each new child, the boys moved too sluggishly in she says, has gradually stretched the morning to make it on time her heart more. And each new for the typical Sunday morning child has stretched the hearts of Mass. They had stayed up too the older siblings, too. late the night before. Chris was able to motivate his Their mother, ordinarily younger siblings for a while with calm and patient, angrily called his “King of the House” game. them pagans when they tried to He would tell them their house head off to the game, insisting was a palace and designate tasks they get to another Mass in its to everyone in order to make entirety. Though they dutifully their castle spotless. But the attended another Mass, they game wore thin when Chris alcrowed over the title their mother ways insisted on being the king. had bestowed upon them. “The Kathleen, the second eldest, Pagans” won the tournament. says she helped out the most, Much to Coleen’s chagrin the especially with the youngest name unwittingly coined by her two. Though it was hard for was featured on the headlines of her at times, she sees now how the local newspaper. She chalked her heart grew from the love it up as a lesson for why she she poured out on Conor and should always keep her calm. Seamus. They lived outside of town so Brothers and sister also it was hard for Kathleen to get helped raising each other during her friends from school to visit their teen-age years. They bandher. Once, when she was about ed together with their friends, eight years old, she politely keeping a healthy atmosphere. asked Chris to make sure he and They were also vigilant over his brothers and friends wouldn’t each other’s choices of girlbe around when she arrived friends, making sure they were home with her girlfriend who girls who had good values.
was an only child. She didn’t want her friend to be overwhelmed by so many boys. When she arrived with her friend, Kathleen’s heart skipped a beat: all was quiet. They went to the kitchen for a snack and still no brothers in sight. With a sigh of relief Kathleen confidently led the way to her bedroom, which she shared with four of her younger brothers. There they were waiting in ambush, all her brothers and their friends, poised on the beds, each brandishing sticks. Chris sounded the word “Charge!” Kathleen turned in horror to her friend exclaiming: “Run to the rock!” Near their home was a huge rock where you were “safe.” The two girls made it there free of harm. It was all in good fun, even if her friend didn’t appreciate their sense of humor and never returned to the Murphy house again. The Murphy’s kitchen was the natural hang out for all those growing boys, given their bottomless pits. There they would good-naturedly poke fun of each other, laugh a lot and eat. All in all, they had a great time. Kathleen remembers feeling sorry for her friends who came from small families. Their homes were so quiet, no fun. At her house there was always something going on. In sum, the Murphy siblings enjoyed being together and still do today. They shared interests and friends amongst themselves and looked out for each other. And now, in their family gettogethers, their warm childhood memories are a source of intense amusement and endless teasing. Their close relationships amongst themselves now attest to the joy of their years growing up together. Joan Kingsland, a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi, teaches theology at Mater Ecclesiae College in Greenville, R.I. She received a doctorate from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Rome. This is the last article in the Lavishly Generous Love series. Joan hopes to begin another series in the near future.
something is wrong. According to the teachings of the Church, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. How can children be formed in the faith in the classroom if they don’t attend Mass in the church? According to representatives of the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation, this is a national concern. What to do? Well, to begin with, name the problem. To that end, deanery priests and deacons joined with Faith Formation directors. All agreed that we have the proverbial “elephant in the room.” Quickly identifying a common concern means you are right on the mark. It’s a sign of hope. Having identified the issue, the next step is difficult work. Achieving consensus takes much time and effort. This was only a one-hour meeting. Participants began to share their initial thoughts. When someone is asked for an opinion, it is crucial to listen to the response, whether or not the sentiments expressed agree with one’s own. This is the Number One Rule of dialogue: hear and, more importantly, listen. The deanery priests, without any agreed-upon strategy, wisely chose to do little talking so that others might better be heard. We instinctively knew that we would never get anywhere by pontificating, otherwise we would not hear the truth. Consequently, we heard many and varied opinions expressed. Each was valuable in the process of finding a solution. These were well-educated, highly motivated people of faith speaking their thoughts aloud. It doesn’t get any better than this. Some thought that formal Religious Education classes should be made optional, except in sacramental years, but that Mass should be made obligatory, with attendance carefully taken. One Religious Education coordinator suggested that, if we choose to go in that direction, then each and every celebration of the Eucharist should be the finest a parish is able to provide. Good point. Others were of the opinion that this is not just a matter of attendance at Mass or at class, but rather a matter of evangelization of the parents of our children.
The primary responsibility of raising children in the faith, they said, belongs to the parents. The Church is there to assist parents in their responsibility. Some said we have lost a generation of parents. Some went further and said we have lost not only parents, but even some grandparents of these children. Still others stated that whatever we decide to do, all parishes in the deanery must be on the same page. Good point. I spoke out loud my “opinion of the day.” Not, dear readers, that I cannot change it tomorrow. I have been known to change my mind. The group asked me to repeat my opinion, as some had not heard it. I was quite surprised. I have not previously been known for having a soft voice, but I obliged. At any rate, it seems to me that attendance at class and attendance at Mass are perceived as optional by many of today’s young parents. They’re not, of course, but that is the reality. You can’t lead a horse to water unless the horse is thirsty. The task of the Church in this time and place, it seems to me, is to help parents identify their thirst for Jesus. You do this by what some call preevangelization. Basically, it means you make people comfortable in the faith community. If they are hungry, you feed them. If they are homeless, you house them. If they are lonely or confused, you extend a warm welcome. Then you assist them to personally encounter the Risen Lord. Experience has proven that this is best done by effectively touching their hearts in prayer and personal faith-sharing. Retreats and days of recollection are fine tools by which to accomplish this. I’m happy to see that the parish here is offering very effective Days of Recollection to our high school student and others. I’m happy to see that teens feel comfortable enough to “chill out” at the Pastoral Life Center, playing video games and table tennis. How do we address the issue? Set hearts on fire. Get out there and give ’em “heartburn.” Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.
February 19, 2010
Faith and family keep longtime parishioner afloat By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff FAIRHAVEN — Even though she lost her life partner 27 years ago, Louise P. Frigault has gleaned great solace and comfort from volunteering at St. Mary’s Parish. Faith and family is what has kept her afloat. “When I lost my husband, I had to decide whether I was going to swim or sink, and I chose to swim,” Frigault said. “My husband was very religious and he used to go to church everyday and did a lot for the parish.” Taking a cue from her late husband, Frigault admitted it’s been her two families — her immediate relatives along with her extended parish family — that have kept her going. “There are some mornings when I debated whether or not to get up and something always made me get up and go to church,” she said. “I think it’s even harder when you lose your mate when you’re older — at the time my husband passed away, I was still working, so that was a great help.” While she downplays her “modest” contributions to parish life, saying she always feels there are others who are more active and more deserving of recognition, Frigault said she was “humbled and very surprised to have been singled out” by Father Patrick Killilea, SS.CC., pastor of St. Mary’s Parish, for her service. “She’s a wonderful Anchor person of lady and has been in- Frigault. volved in the parish most of her life,” Father Killilea said. “She’s an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and has been very involved around the feast time, with Our Lady of the Angels Feast. She’s been a faithful churchgoer and a treasure to our parish.” For Frigault, the Church and specifically St. Mary’s Parish were always at the center of her life. Born in 1924 and baptized at nearby St. Joseph’s Parish “because St. Mary’s wasn’t founded yet,” Frigault’s life has just about paralleled the history of St. Mary’s Parish. “I’m 85 years old and I’ve been a parishioner at St. Mary’s for close to 80 years,” she said. Her earliest childhood recollections all revolved around St. Mary’s Parish. “My mother was very much involved in the church, and all my sisters were involved,” Frigault said. “My oldest sister Agnes used to work at the Holy Ghost Feast and used to be the housekeeper at St. Mary’s Rectory. My mother was involved in all the parish clubs, too. I never belonged to any church clubs — my older sister got me involved in the church.” Even if older sibling Agnes hadn’t been there to set the example, you still get the impression that Louise would have gravitated towards the parish anyway. “I love my faith, I love God above all, and I love my church,” she said. “We’ve got the Sacred Hearts Fathers here in the parish and they are tremendous.” Frigault does a barrage of odd jobs for the par-
ish and is mostly active these days as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion during weekend Masses and also takes care of the votive candles inside the church which people light in prayerful petition to a saint. “Years ago we also used to have (wax) candles for people to light and now we have electric candles,” she said. “I take care of them and collect the donations.” There’s really no secret to what draws Frigault to actively participate in parish life: it’s all about family. “Growing up, my parents were always involved with the church,” Frigault said. “We used to help with the Holy Ghost Feast and my mother used to make the sopas for the feast. My sisters were active in the church — not my brothers as much — but my sisters were always involved.” The youngest of 10 children, Frigault has always been surrounded and supported by a large family and she sees her parish family at St. Mary’s as playing a similar role. “We’ve got a good number of people at St. Mary’s Parish who are always willing to pitch in to help out,” she said. “I think we need more family involvement — although I’m happy to see more younger couples in our parish. Being a mother myself, I believe what we’re lacking today is doing more things together as a family.” It’s that obvious the week — Louise P. breakdown in the once close-knit family unit that has caused people to drift away from the Church, Frigault said. “When I was young we used to go to the Stations of the Cross twice a week, and sometimes Mass more than once a week because we didn’t have distractions like TV,” she said. “To me, TV has done a lot of damage because some people stay at home because they don’t want to miss a show and they don’t go to church.” But hope may be on the horizon. Frigault said she’s happy to see younger people getting involved with the parish. “In my own parish, when I’m at the vestibule distributing holy Communion, I see a lot of new faces,” she said. She blushes at the thought that her own efforts may have inspired others to get involved. “I always try to set a good example and I hope I’ve inspired others,” she said. These days, Frigault admits she’s mostly a “homebody” who doesn’t go out much save for her regular parish activities. This June will mark 20 years since she retired from full-time work, so she hopes to keep busy tending to her home and parish life. “I’ve seen a lot changes in our religion over the years, but I don’t think I could have gone through life without the faith that I have, especially being left alone,” Frigault said. “I’m a workaholic — I like to keep busy with the Church and working in my garden.” To nominate a Person of the Week, send an email message to FatherRogerLandry@anchornews.org.
February 19, 2010
Expanding the Cape Cod Canal from Bourne to Haiti
By Dave Jolivet, Editor
BUZZARDS BAY — While delivering mail for the U.S. Postal Service each day, Joseph Souza couldn’t help but notice the covers of countless magazines depicting the horrible images spanning the earthquake torn areas of Haiti. He knew he had to do something. Souza is the director of Reli-
gious Education and of the youth ministry group “Jesus Always Guides Us Along Rough Situations” (JAGUARS) at St. Margaret’s Parish in Buzzards Bay. He remembered how each Good Friday, Diakonos, Inc., a social justice organization, held a Good Friday walk along the Cape Cod Canal to raise funds for Matthew
25 House. Knowing this organization has workers in Haiti, Souza thought hosting a similar walk could help raise needed funds for earthquake victims. He approached his Religious Education students and Youth Group for their opinions, and “they were very excited at the prospect,” Souza told The An-
chor. The three-mile walk is scheduled for February 28 at 1 p.m. The next step was to get permission from the Town of Bourne to hold the walk from the train bridge to the Bourne bridge and back. When asked what the walk was for, “I was told that it was a federal offense to exchange money on the canal,” said Souza. He decided the monies could be collected at the gazebo in Buzzards Bay Park on Main Street. Once the financial situation was resolved, Souza met with the Canal Park Rangers for a permit. “They thought it was an excellent idea,” Souza added. At each step of the planning stage, Souza learned more about the protocol for such events. He was next asked what bathroom facilities would be provided for participants. Souza responded he planned on using the facilities near the train bridge, and immediately learned they were closed during the winter months. Souza would have to rent facilities — but how, and where? While filling out the necessary paper work provided by the Canal employees, the rangers advised Souza “they would take care of the paper work and their donation to the Haitian cause would be to pay for the rentals themselves.”
“The rangers were so impressed with what the kids would be doing that they were moved to be a part of it,” said Souza. “It was truly amazing.” Next up was securing permission from the Town of Bourne for use of the gazebo. “I was told that I had to seek permission from the town selectmen,” he said. “I had a friend who knew some of the selectmen and he introduced me to them, and when I told them about the venture, they thought it was an excellent idea. “I filled out the proper forms and when the selectmen returned a verdict they said it ‘was such a good thing to do’ that they gave me the permit. When I read the permit it read ‘Fee waived.’” Souza had his collection area as well as parking spaces for those who will walk, volunteer or donate. Each step forward found things falling into place for Souza and his eager group of JAGUARS. Moving along, Souza concentrated on publicizing the event. He created flyers asking for walkers, donors and volunteers. “I asked Mary Fuller from St. Margaret’s Parish who is on the Parish Council and very involved in the ECHO retreat program in the diocese,” said Souza. She had already been involved in the Turn to page 19
the canal from cape cod to haiti — The Cape Cod Canal in Bourne will be the site of a February 28 three-mile walk, sponsored by the Jesus Always Guides Us Along Rough Situations youth group from St. Margaret’s Parish in Buzzards Bay. Proceeds from the chilly endeavor will be sent to Matthew 25 House to help the suffering people in Haiti. (Anchor file photo)
The Anchor Taunton Deanery Lenten Mission is February 28 through March 3
TAUNTON — This year’s Taunton Deanery Lenten Mission will be February 28 through March 3. The Lenten mission will be held at St. Andrew the Apostle Church, 19 Kilmer Avenue, Taunton, at 7 p.m. Sunday evening will consist of a holy hour and preached reflection. Monday and Tuesday evening will have the reflection preached in the context of Mass, and Wednesday evening will have a reflection preached in the context of a penance service in which the sacrament of reconciliation will be offered. The theme for this year’s mission is “Days of Deepening Friendship: Nurturing the Interior Life” and it will be preached by Father
CNS Movie Capsules NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Dear John” (Screen Gems) This frequently sentimental drama, set in South Carolina, charts the love-at-first-sight romance between a Special Forces sergeant (Channing Tatum) home on leave to visit his mildly autistic father (Richard Jenkins) and an affluent college student (Amanda Seyfried), their prolonged separation due to his reenlistment following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and their efforts
Gary Dailey. Father Dailey was ordained for the Diocese of Springfield after studying at St. John’s Seminary in Boston. Most of his priesthood was spent in pastoral ministry — four years as a parochial vicar, five years in high school ministry as a chaplain and athletic director, 10 years as a pastor and six years as vocation director for the Diocese of Springfield. He has preached several missions over the years, and the previous two Lents he has preached the deanery missions of Fall River and New Bedford. He currently lives at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield.
to maintain their bond by longdistance letter writing. Though the portrayal of the conflicted filial relationship is moving, director Lasse Hallstrom’s adaptation of Catholic writer Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling 2006 novel focuses mostly on the emotionally unrealistic evolution of the lovers’ attachment, and endorses its premature consummation along the way. Nongraphic premarital sexual activity with partial nudity, a few uses of profanity, at least four instances of the S-word. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” (Fox) A mildly troubled New York high school student (Logan Lerman) discovers his true identity as a
demigod — offspring of the Greek sea god Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) and a human mother (Catherine Keener) — and embarks on a quest to prevent a war among the deities of Mount Olympus, assisted by a semi-divine teen girl warrior (Alexandra Daddario) and a courageous but untested adolescent satyr (Brandon T. Jackson). Director Chris Columbus’ glossy but shallow screen version of the first in novelist Rick Riordan’s best-selling series of children’s novels relies on some slick special effects to keep the adventure moving forward, though the titular hero’s transformation from a 12- to a 17-year-old introduces elements unsuitable for some of the book’s younger fans, while parents who see the tale’s mythological premise as more than a literary device will hesitate to allow impressionable youngsters to view it. Pagan themes, brief domestic discord, a few instances of sexual innuendo, a couple of crass terms. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. “The Wolfman” (Universal) Alternately spooky, savage and silly, this remake of the 1941 monster classic starring Lon Chaney Jr. tells of a decent if troubled man (Benicio Del Toro) periodically transformed into a hairy beast after returning to his ancestral estate in England following the brutal murder of his brother in 1891. Striking a tone that might be described as “visceral camp,” director Joe Johnston entertains by rendering the trappings of lycanthrope lore with first-rate special effects and actors — Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving — willing to feast on the material. Frequent episodes of moderately graphic violence including fleeting images of human entrails, decapitations and severed limbs; an instance of partial upper female nudity; several references to prostitution; one use of profane language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
February 19, 2010
Vatican to publish guidelines for cruise ship chaplains VATICAN CITY (CNS) — It is not just sea, sun and celebrating the sacraments for Catholic chaplains aboard cruise ships. Regional directors of the Apostleship of the Sea meeting at the Vatican February 9 ratified a document clarifying the role of chaplains who serve on board cruise ships. Among its provisions, the document stipulated that priests should not celebrate Catholic weddings on a cruise, but they should be available to offer blessings for newlyweds or couples celebrating wedding anniversaries. It also stated that priests should offer daily and Sunday Masses, as well as ecumenical prayer services when required. Chaplains should make themselves available for pastoral care and counseling not only with passengers but also the crew, hotel staff and even the entertainers aboard ship, the guidelines said. Chaplains are also encouraged to attend staff and employee meetings during a cruise to better understand the issues and concern of the people working on board. The new guidelines asked cruise ship companies to provide chaplains with a private cabin and all standard meals. They are also asked to provide everything necessary to celebrate Mass, including vestments and chalices, and to advertise all the public activities of the chaplain while on board. Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, which oversees the Apostleship of the Sea, said the recent growth of the cruise ship industry prompted the writing of the new “Cruise Ship Ministry Guidelines.” The document will be published later in the year as part of the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Apostleship of the Sea, an organization started in 1920 in Glasgow, Scotland, to oversee the church’s mission to Catholics workers in maritime industries.
Deacon Albert M. Dacanay, regional coordinator of the Apostleship of the Sea for North America and the Caribbean, attended the Vatican meeting in early February. He estimated that 60 percent of U.S. cruise ship clients are Catholic and that 80 percent of U.S. cruise ship staff members are Catholics, the majority coming from the Philippines. Deacon Dacanay said his office was concerned about the recent decision of Celebrity Cruises to have Catholic chaplains on board only on major religious holidays, but he said the situation is evolving. Celebrity Cruises recently revised its policy again, agreeing to have priests on board ships during Lent and the Easter season and for all cruises going to the Holy Land, according to Doreen M. Badeaux, secretary general of the Apostleship of the Sea in the United States. Deacon Dacanay said, “There is still a big clamor for chaplains to be on the ships, and there is a large number of cruise ship companies still to bring along” into the official programs of the Apostleship of the Sea. In the United States, the Apostleship of the Sea oversees the Cruise Ship Priest Program, which ensures that priests on cruise ships are in good standing and which helps place chaplains aboard cruise liners. Celebrity Cruises is one of seven cruise lines that use the services of the Apostleship of the Sea’s U.S. offices. Deacon Dacanay said that he would like to see the U.S. cruise ships do more for the Catholic crews that they employ and that the new guidelines will address his concerns. Creating guidelines for chaplains from a variety of countries serving on ships with different national registrations was one of the challenges in writing the document, said Father Bruno Ciceri, the international director of the Apostleship of the Sea.
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, February 21 at 11:00 a.m. Celebrant is Father Jay Mello, a parochial vicar at St. Julie Billiart Parish and chaplain at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth
February 19, 2010
Unitarian Universalism: Freedom of belief (and unbelief)
oday we begin the final leg of this series on world religions. It remains for us to survey the exotic offshoots of Christianity that have arisen in Western societies since the Reformation: Unitarian Universalism, Seventh-day Adventism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christian Science. Although historically rooted in Christianity, they stand far from the central Christian tradition and are no more Protestant than Catholic. Unitarian Universalism isn’t so much a religion as a society of “freethinkers” who reject authority and dogma in religious thought. Freedom of belief, enlightened reason, broad and tolerant sympathy, and ethical living are what truly matter. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) was formed in 1961 from the merger of two historically Christian groups: the Unitarians and the Universalists. There are a little over a thousand UUA congregations in North America and a handful of other similar groups elsewhere that are not officially part of the UUA. Most groups meet on Sunday morning, not for any religious reason, but simply for the sake of tradition and convenience. The loosely structured service centers on a presentation by a minister, lay leader, or invited speaker. Rarely is prayer offered or the word “God” mentioned. Because Unitarian Universalists recognize no single body of texts
By Christine M. Williams Anchor Correspondent FALL RIVER — Amid Super Bowl advertisements for the superfluous — beer, candy bars and chips — was a spot that gave ProLifers something to cheer about. With the theme “Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life,” the Focus on the Family commercial featured 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, who was advised by a doctor to abort her son. The 44th Super Bowl, which aired on CBS on February 7, saw the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. The event garnered 106.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched television program ever, according to Nielsen ratings. That kind of exposure comes at a high cost, and Focus on the Family paid $2.5 million for the 30-second spot, which played during the first quarter. The global Christian ministry group, which is Pro-Life and supports traditional marriage, has made clear that the money
as divinely revealed, they draw Italy in October 1553, he crossed inspiration from many differthe border to Geneva, probably at ent belief systems: Judaism and Calvin’s invitation; there, he was Christianity, but also Eastern arrested, tried, and burned at the religions, New Age fashions, stake for blasphemy by Protesand more. Many congregations tant authorities. celebrate observances associated Although Servetus attracted with other religious traditions no great following, Unitarianincluding Buddhist-style medita- ism took root in Poland under tion and Passover Seders. the influence of the Italian-born How did this eclectic “reliAnabaptist Fausto Sozzini gion” come about? It has been (after whose Latinized name of wisely said that there are no new Socinus the Unitarians would heresies, only warmed-over old later be generally known) and ones. Without any reference to in Transylvania (now a part of the early Church and her teaching to guide the interpretation of The Fullness Scripture, believers become highly susof the Truth ceptible to repeating By Father old heresies. In the Thomas M. Kocik sixteenth century, a Spaniard named Miguel Serveto (better known in the Latinized form Servetus) Romania) under the leadership of denounced the doctrine of the Francis David. The Jesuits eradiTrinity as “the product of subtlecated Unitarianism in Poland. In ty and madness.” He tried unsuc- Transylvania, however, Unitarcessfully to win the Reformers ians enjoyed the protection of to his Unitarian position, which King John Sigismund, a disciple was of course rehashed Arianof David and self-proclaimed ism. Luther and Calvin held Unitarian. After the king’s death, that non-biblical terms such as persecution by Sigismund’s suc“Trinity” and “of one substance” cessors forced the Transylvanian weren’t necessary to Christian Unitarians to go underground. language, though both men held An ex-Anglican clergyman, absolutely to the ideas expressed Theophilus Lindsey, founded by those terms. It seems that English Unitarianism. He was Calvin slyly denounced Serveaided by Joseph Priestley, the tus to the Catholic Inquisition. scientist who discovered oxyServetus managed to escape from gen. Although Unitarianism in a Catholic prison in France. On England was not subjected to the his way, perhaps, to northern severe persecution it endured on
the continent, it did antagonize orthodox Christians. In 1791, a mob destroyed Priestley’s home as well as a Unitarian chapel in Birmingham. Priestley fled to London and a few years later to America, where he founded a congregation in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. Unitarianism in New England originated as a rebellion against Calvinist Congregationalism. Unlike Calvinists, Unitarians believed that human nature was essentially good, that God predestined nobody to damnation, and that Jesus was a great moral teacher but not divine. The growing controversy was brought to a head by Jedidiah Morse, an orthodox Congregationalist and the father of the inventor of the telegraph. Morse launched a crusade to smoke out the heretics and found a perfect issue when Harvard, Congregationalism’s primary training ground for clergymen, appointed a Unitarian to head its divinity school in 1805. In protest, Morse and other conservatives founded Andover Theological Seminary. Most Congregational churches in the Boston area became Unitarian, and in 1825 a group of New England ministers formed the American Unitarian Association. Meanwhile, Universalism was establishing roots in this country. John Murray, a former Method-
ist, preached the first Universalist sermon in America in 1770. Originally Universalism was Trinitarian but, like Unitarianism, moved to a point where it was no longer Christian in any particular sense. Universalism is the doctrine that everyone will ultimately be saved and hell abolished. One of its notable representatives was the thirdcentury theologian Origen, who taught that at the end of time all creatures, including the devil, might come to salvation. Three centuries after Origen’s death, the Church declared this view heretical. What hell is like (aside from being horrible indeed) and who, if anyone, is “there” – these and other questions are subject to thoughtful disagreements; but it has been the consistent teaching of the Church that who we are and how we live have eternal consequences, for better or for worse. Unitarian Universalism presents itself as a home for secular humanists, atheists, agnostics, and the “spiritual but not religious” crowd. Its openness to diverse ways of believing and thinking is part, but only a part, of what being “catholic” means. The rest has to do with identity and commitment. As G. K. Chesterton said, “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” Father Kocik is a parochial vicar at Santo Christo Parish in Fall River.
Pro-Life ad runs during Super Bowl came from anonymous donors, not the ministry’s general fund. And the ad certainly drew a lot of attention to the organization and the Tebows’ story. Focus on the Family’s website had 40 times its normal traffic volume for a total of 50,000 unique visits in the hour after the ad ran. The commercial began with Pam holding a picture of Tim. “I call him my miracle baby. He almost didn’t make it into this world. With all our family’s been through, we have to be tough,” she said. Then Tim rushed into the frame and hard tackled his mom — a move that seemed to be intended to be humorous. The ad ended with an invitation to visit Focus on the Family’s website “for the full Tebow story.” The full interview, which runs eight minutes, had 750,000 views in the 48 hours after the ad aired. In it Pam and her husband, Bob, talk about the doctor who called unborn Tim a “mass of fetal tissue” and a “tumor.” The Tebows were on a mission trip to the Philippines, and Pam had contracted
amoebic dysentery. She was advised to have an abortion in order to save her life. In the video, Pam said she already knew she would never terminate a pregnancy. “We were determined to trust the Lord with the children he would give us. If God called me to give up my life, then he would take care of my family.” She said to any pregnant woman contemplating abortion, “That baby’s not a mistake. God will enable you to do the right thing.” Even before the Tebow ad aired, it was generating comments, both supportive and negative. On the social networking site Facebook more than half a million users joined several groups created to support the commercial. Only a few hundred people had joined groups that called for CBS to pull the ad, but many proabortion groups sent petitions to the network to ask that the spot be shelved. Representatives from the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Women’s Media Center and the Feminist Majority Foundation called the ad “extraor-
dinarily offensive” and “hate masquerading as love.” “The Super Bowl is supposed to be a time we can come together,” said president of NOW Terry O’Neill. “This ad introduced poison into that atmosphere.” Tim Tebow, former quarterback for the University of Florida Gators, has created buzz before by featuring references to Biblical verses in his eye black. After a game, people have searched for the Scripture passages on the Internet. All told, they have garnered more than 100 million Google searches. Tim told the Times-Picayune of New Orleans last December how he chooses the verses. “I really lean toward something that’s going through my heart,” he said. At a press conference in July of last year, he left a reporter speechless when he responded affirmatively that he is “saving himself for marriage.” In response to the reporter’s silence, Tebow said to the media representatives, “I think y’all were stunned by that.” During that same press confer-
ence he spoke about his mother’s decision not to abort him and its effect on other women. “There has been a lot of people that have been encouraged not to have an abortion because they heard the story of my mom,” he said. And the Tebows said they hope the Super Bowl ad will inspire more mothers to do the same. James Kenney, a deputy grand knight of the Knights of Columbus at Stonehill College in Easton, said the ad was “low key” and hopefilled. “It opens up discussion in a positive way,” he said. “It’s a very positive story for mothers — and fathers and families as well.” Ryan Boehm, a member of the Respect Life Committee at St. Mary Parish in Winchester, said the ad was “well done” and will help the Pro-Life movement as well as a great marketing strategy. The Super Bowl is certainly about the football game, but it is also about the commercials, he said. “I made sure to go to the bathroom during the game and not during the commercials,” he said.
February 19, 2010
Diocesan deacon composes Stations with links to Year For Priests
Sacred Hearts Retreat Center sets new course
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continued from page one
fell beneath the weight of the tree and, in the sight of all, lay humbled in the very dust from which we were created. Reveal to those priests of yours brought low by weakness the surpassing power of your grace deployed in infirmity, for when they are weak, you are their strength, and when they fall, you raise them up.” For Deacon Bonneau, his new Way of the Cross began last December. “I thought, after all their duties as pastors, administrators, programmers — and often as counter-cultural leaders, the deeper level of the priesthood is their personal journey loving Christ, an important dimension, and one frequently overlooked by those around them,” he explained. “We need to pray for our priests,” he asserted. As the assistant director of Adult Evangelization and Spirituality for the Diocesan Office
of Faith Formation, Deacon Bonneau’s authoring of a new set of prayers for use in making the Stations while keeping priests in mind is aptly entitled “Priesthood Is the Love of the Heart of Jesus.” While the readings are richly based on Scripture, the deacon has innovatively chosen texts that offer new reflections on the pertinent Stations in their traditional format. The prayers and meditations, along with anthems and music, have received the hearty endorsement of Father Marcel H. Bouchard, director of the Year For Priests in the Fall River Diocese, as well as the Presbyteral Council. “The total effort is not altogether mine, as the footnotes explain,” said Deacon Bonneau, who was ordained to the diaconate on May 22, 1993, and who ministers at St. Mary’s Parish in Fairhaven. “Some parts were adapted
from the magazine Magnificat, and the Year for Priests Companion. The music, “Lord, By Your Cross and Resurrection,” is by Jesuit Father John B. Foley, and used by permission,” he said. “I don’t want to miss thanking Rose Marie Saraiva, administrator at the Faith Formation Office, who helped to put it all in a format.” As something of a premiere for the new Stations, Deacon Bonneau will lead them himself at four parishes in coming Lenten weeks. They will be held at St. Joseph’s in Fairhaven on February 19; at St. John the Evangelist in Attleboro on March 12; at St. Mary’s in Mansfield on March 19; and at Corpus Christi in Sandwich on March 26. “All we ask of those parishes is that they provide lectors and altar servers,” Deacon Bonneau explained. He will be assisted by Philip Pereira, an organist and musician, who ministers at St. Michael’s Parish in Fall River and St. John Neumann in East Freetown. “‘The Priesthood Is the Love of the Heart of Jesus’ Stations is available for anyone or any parish to use by going online, fallriverfaithformation.org,” Deacon Bonneau reported. “While we can print the eight-page booklets in color for them, there will be a minimal cost. But they can be obtained free online and then people or parishes can print them inexpensively themselves.” Asked how priests have reacted to the Stations of Cross, he said, “Very positively. I think they are happy to know they are remembered in people’s prayers — even as the priests themselves might be leading the Way of the Cross.” The reflections for the 14th Station, Jesus is Laid in the Tomb, especially petitions the Blessed Mother: “… let the prayer of your Virgin Mother enfold the priests of your Church and sustain them in the valley of the shadow of death, that by always carrying your passion in their bodies, they many contemplate your face in faith’s dark night and rejoice in the revelation of your glory.” For the closing prayer, Deacon Bonneau used the prayer for priests authorized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It too, asks the Mother of God to sustain those her son has called to follow him. It reads in part, “Dear Lord, we pray that the Blessed Mother wrap her mantle around your priests and through her intercession strengthen them for their ministry.”
Kolasa said in an interview with The Anchor. “You might say we’re extending our boundaries,” he added, noting that in December he had given a retreat in the Bahamas, but had to turn down requests for four more retreats there this year because of demands here at home. Most of the Sacred Hearts Fathers locally are already busy in ministries, he said, but reported that Father David Lupo of the Congregation will become a member of the retreat team, working alongside Father Thomas McElroy and Sacred Hearts Sister Claire Bouchard. “We use our own personnel as much as we can, but it takes much time to prepare talks that meet the needs of the diverse groups, and so we invite others to come and assist us,” Father Kolasa said. “There are a number of well qualified and interesting people we might invite.” One of the groups that have participated is a team from the Teams Of Our Lady, a Catholic group from within the Fall River Diocese that offers retreats in English and Portuguese. He made it clear that, “Our home here in Wareham is your home. We make it so because it is set out in the charter of our religious community, and so when people come to be with us they enjoy it. Some come monthly.” Hospitality maintains a vital prominence in the living monastic tradition from which spiritual retreats had their beginning. If one calls a retreat a series of quiet days passed in solitude and consecrated to certain practices, such as prayer and penance, it is as old as Christianity. Besides the prophets of the Old Testament, the 40 days which Christ passed in the desert after his baptism is an example which has found many imitators in all ages of the Church, as clergy as well as lay people withdraw from the world from time to time in order to draw nearer to God. Among those recommending periodic retreats for at least a few days were St. Francis de Sales, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Charles Borromeo, and St. Vincent de Paul, to name a few. “People are hungry for advancing in spirituality,” the retreat director said. “They come here to get away, to spend time getting closer to God, and sometimes to reform their lives. We help them to do that,
with talks, liturgies as well as the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist.” Besides offering guided and specialized retreats and hosting those wishing to make their own, private retreats during the week and on weekends, the center also provides for support groups of all kinds, including single and married adults, teens, and parish groups readying to receive confirmation, to advance their spirituality. One of the special retreats included a community of religious Sisters who wanted to do something special and who came for the days of the Triduum during Holy Week and concluded their spiritual exercises on Easter Sunday. “And we had a group of artists and artisans who were lace makers and wool spinners who entered into the spirituality of love of God … who hooked into the center of creation we might say,” Father Kolasa added. For parents who have limited time, a day of recollection, “Drink From This Cup,” is held every Tuesday during Lent from 10 a.m. until noon. Lenten retreats in preparation for Easter are advancing in popularity, and it puts a strain on the existing facilities. Because so many seek to attend retreats at the center, “We find that the current 65 rooms for adults in our elegant 100-year-old manor house is insufficient, and so we will be adding a wing to the rear of the main house,” said Father Kolasa. “We’ll also build a new chapel where we celebrate daily Mass, and more conference rooms that we also need.” Another renewal on the drawing board is to extend the Youth Center, which currently can accommodate only 50 visitors. ‘We’re turning away 300 people a month who want to go on a retreat,” Sister Claire added. Even with those major renewals the center will continue its commitment to the local Land Trust and Audubon Society to restrict 100 of the nearly 120 acres of its property to the natural habitat environment, Father Kolasa reported. To contact the center, write: The Sacred Hearts Retreat Center, 226 Great Neck Road, Wareham, MA 02571; email: email@example.com or www.sscc.org/wareham; call 508-295-0100 or FAX 508291-2624.
February 19, 2010
Former professional model, now chastity proponent, to speak at Women’s Conference Christopher Harding Special to The Anchor BOSTON — She went from “America’s Next Top Model” to role model. She’s a “reality TV star” who now points to the real truth. “For years my faith took a back seat until it all came to a soulful boiling point during a high power photo shoot, where I turned back to God and my faith,” confesses nationally-known Catholic speaker Leah Darrow. “Ever heard that prodigal son story? I’m his sister.” Darrow will describe the importance of living a life rooted in God, not the world. Her story will include how she abandoned the world of New York modeling to become a leader in the “Pure Fashion” movement, which encourages young women to become confident, competent leaders who live the virtues of modesty and purity. She also shares her story throughout the country at gatherings of women, often with young adults and teens. Darrow will be one of the featured speakers at the upcoming fifth annual Boston Catholic Women’s Conference (BCWC) on Saturday, February 27 at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Darrow has continued with modeling engagements, but with
a different approach. “I bring each modeling opportunity to Our Blessed Mother, if I feel that I can participate in it with her by my side, then I know Jesus will be happy with it.” Like many young adults, Darrow witnesses to her faith in many ways. “With my Facebook page, my tweets on Twitter, and my blog, all through my iphone — I am always connecting with people. It is a almost a necessity in Western culture to use social media, but, it is not the only way. In contrast, nothing compares to sitting with someone, having her share her story of ‘been there, done that’ and hearing firsthand that changing your life is possible. Women need to know that ‘real people’ exist who have made it back from the other side and are talking about it.” Jennifer Schiller, coordinator of the Women’s Conference, remarks, “We are thrilled that Leah will share her story at the Conference. Today’s society poses daily challenges to women of all ages who are seeking to live a life of faith. The key to overcoming these challenges is turning to God in all circumstances. Once we turn to him, we begin to understand what it means to trust. Trust then
leads to prayer, and prayer leads to an awareness of God’s presence.” Leah’ personal testimony will describe how awareness of God’s presence in her life has allowed her to live a life of faith. She will provide an encouragement to all
10-year friendship with Blessed Mother Teresa. Patti Mansfield, a pioneer in the American Catholic Charismatic movement, will be welcomed back to the BCWC podium by popular demand. Returning also is Iraqi-born Sister Olga of the Eucharist, who founded her own order before joining the chaplaincy at Boston University. The BCWC also offers great live music, adoration, reconciliation, a gymnasium full of Catho-
lic exhibitors, and a concluding Mass celebrated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Only a few hundred tickets remain for the Women’s Conference on February 27 and about one thousand are left for the Boston Catholic Men’s Conference on April 17. To purchase tickets for either Conference and for more information, visit www.CatholicBoston.com or call 617-444-9950.
conference attendees that they too can live a life of peace in the midst of this chaotic world, if they turn to Christ. Along with Darrow, the 2010 BCWC boasts three other inspiring women of faith as keynoters. Author/EWTN host DonnaMarie Cooper O’Boyle will share the life lessons learned from her
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February 19, 2010
students helping students — Students from St. Pius X School in South Yarmouth collected more than $2,000 to be sent to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny in Haiti to help rebuild their school.
large student body — Students from St. Mary’s School, Mansfield; St. Mary-Sacred Heart School, North Attleboro; Our Lady of Lourdes School, Taunton; Taunton Catholic Middle School; St. John’s the Evangelist School, Attleboro; and St. Mary’s Primary School, Taunton, gathered to celebrate a Catholic Schools Week Mass. More than 700 students participated along with several diocesan priests. Here Msgr. Stephen J. Avila, pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Mansfield awaits the gifts with several altar servers.
spreading the word — St. Mary-Sacred Heart School Student Council President Cullen Murphy lectors before the assembly at the kick-off Mass for Catholic Schools Week. The school kicked off its festivities with the parish community of Sacred Heart in North Attleboro at the Sunday 10:15 a.m. Mass.
sock-cessful event — St. John the Evangelist School in North Attleboro concluded Catholic School’s Week with a volleyball game for grades six, seven and eight and games for the younger students in the gym arranged by the upperclassmen. Other activities for the week included a crazy hat day, mix match socks and shoes day and hosting two other local Catholic schools for a day. Pictured are eighth-grade girls, from left: Brynna Harum, Siri Devlin, Katie McLaughlin, Kacey Jolly, Brittany Sells, Mikaela Collins, and Bridget Gay.
abracadabra — Grades Kindergarten through Three at St. John’s School in Attleboro, St. Mary-Sacred Heart in North Attleboro, and St. Mary’s School in Mansfield were entertained by the The Great Baldini, also known as Thomas Holmes, a local magician. The students were also treated to ice cream and a movie.
merit badge — President Mary-Patricia Tranter, left, along with Coyle and Cassidy Principal Paul Cartier, second from right, and Vice Principal Chris Myron, right, recently presented Dylan Wolff with a certificate of acknowledgment for earning the prestigious designation of a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.
’ve never been one who is good at giving things up. I truly try to be a giver in all that I do, but I like my toys and other distractions. Over the years when Lent came along, I’d try to figure out what to “give up” as the good Sisters taught us in school. I always thought about sweets, or candy, or television or movies or some other material item that I liked, but I didn’t like the idea of losing those things. I don’t know about you, but I was more inclined to give up things that I didn’t like as much … like vegetables. Of course, there was little value in giving up what I didn’t like or want. Generally when I chose to give up the things I liked, I wasn’t successful a lot of the time. I was very good at rationalizing why I could have that candy bar just this one time … perhaps as a reward for going two days without one. I guess I kind of lost the meaning of Lent. It is funny how my brain works. My
February 19, 2010
Do give it up for Lent
to look inside (not an easy thing wife would say it’s scary how to do) and give up those things my brain works. that truly get in the way of my In any case, there are rearelationship with God and with sons why we traditionally “give others. Looking inside is not up stuff” during Lent. What always fun or easy. But this year we give up should really be that is my intent. something we like, or like to As I was doing some research do or that we find pleasure in. Through this sacrifice we can learn self-control, tell ourselves “no” once in a while (what a novel idea) and it helps us identify with the sufferings of Christ. Lent By Frank Lucca gives us that opportunity to discover those things that get in the way of our relationship with God for a course I’m taking, I came and to give up those things that so often take over our lives. The across a Lenten reflection published by EWTN on its website. less stuff in our lives, the more In the reflection they list those room there is for God, yourself things that we should “give up.” and for others. I believe that in my case, per- I read this reflection as a sort of internal examination and found haps, I chose the wrong things it rewarding to look at each of to give up. Perhaps, I needed the items and if they applied to to look at giving up more than material items, perhaps I needed me, to resolve that this Lent I
Be Not Afraid
would bring about a change in myself by focusing on the positive things I could do to make more room for God, myself and others. To take some time to tidy up and dust off my very soul. Perhaps you may find it valuable to look at the list of things that you might want to give up this Lent by focusing on the positive. So instead of don’t, we can think do. Spend a moment on each of these actions and really give some thought and prayer on whether it applies to you and how you might change the focus to the more positive. Do give up complaining; focus on gratitude. Do give up pessimism; become an optimist. Do give up harsh judgments; think kindly thoughts. Do give up worry; trust Divine Providence. Do give up discouragement; be full of hope. Do give
up bitterness; turn to forgiveness. Do give up hatred; return good for evil. Do give up negativism; be positive. Do give up anger; be more patient. Do give up pettiness; become mature. Do give up gloom; enjoy the beauty that is all around you. Do give up jealousy; pray for trust. Do give up gossiping; control your tongue. Do give up sin; turn to virtue. Do give up giving up; hang in there. Of course, now that I’ve completed this inner selfexamination, it just may have been easier to just give up those candy bars. I guess I’ll just have to give up on that slimmer waistline and work on beefing up my soul this Lent. Frank Lucca is a youth minister at St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea. He is chair and director of the YES! Retreat and director of the Christian Leadership Institute (CLI). He is a husband and a father of two girls.
Coyle and Cassidy artists send works off to peers in Thailand
TAUNTON — Recently, 13 art students from Coyle and Cassidy High School bid farewell to drawings they had spent weeks working on. The drawings were portraits of children the students have never met, but with whom they have developed a life-long connection. The portraits were part of the Memory Project, an undertaking that connects student artists in the United States with children living in orphanages around the world. This year, Coyle and Cassidy students were united with children living in Thailand, in the area ravaged by the tsunami in 2004. The Memory Project was founded in 2004 by Ben Schumaker, of Madison, Wis. When he was a recent college graduate, Ben traveled to Guatemala hoping to make a difference. Overwhelmed by the plight of children living in orphanages there, growing up with no personal mementos of their childhood, he came up with the idea for the Memory Project. Children in orphanages around the world are photographed and matched with high school art students in the United States. The student artists then create original, one-of-a-kind artworks that become treasured keepsakes. The student artists develop an understanding of the wider world and are provided with the opportunity to connect with these children in a unique and meaningful way. At this time the project has involved more than 20,000 children and young people living in orphanages in more than 30 countries in Central and South
Junior Connor Matthews working on his Memory Project portrait.
Junior Jen Estrompa with her portrait.
America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. This is the fourth year students from Coyle and Cassidy have participated in the program, having created portraits for young people in Uganda, Honduras, and Ecuador in the past. The newest portraits will be delivered to the orphanage in Thailand next month. Schumaker makes every effort to ensure that each student artist receives a photo of the children receiving the portraits as well as letters and drawings from them. According to Carol Mecca, the head of the art department, this was the school’s most successful year for the project, with 13 students participating. “It is a wonderful opportunity for art students to see a broader purpose for their talents and to create something that can make a difference in the life of a child. Knowing that they are valued and important to someone halfway around the world can have a lasting impact. The letters and the photos they receive back are a wonderful bonus.”
Writer’s champ — Bishop Feehan High School, Attleboro, senior Kelly Oliver is a local winner for the 20th Annual Fireside Essay Scholarship for her essay entitled, “How the study of religion has influenced my life.” The essay describes how she has put her faith into action. It will now move on to national judging. The program was created to honor Catholic education by recognizing students who have embraced religious education. If Oliver is one of the five national winners, she will receive a cash scholarship of $1000. Winners will be announced in April. From left, Chairman of Feehan’s Theology department, Kathleen Legg; Oliver; her theology teacher Suzie Collamati, who encouraged her to write for the contest; and Principal Bill Runey.
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: schools@ anchornews.org
Mother of ‘Little Audrey’ continues daughter’s mission of love continued from page one
a healthy baby girl, Audrey Marie Santo. There are many around the world who know the story of Little Audrey and her remarkable family, and many who don’t. On Aug. 9, 1987, when Audrey was three years old, she fell into a swimming pool while playing with her brother. Audrey recovered but while at the hospital, she was overmedicated with phenobarbital. “Audrey was mistakenly given a dose that could have killed a grown man,” said Linda. Little Audrey slipped into a three-week coma. When she emerged from the coma she was in a state of Akinetic Mutism, meaning she had limited movement and was not speaking. “It was a very traumatic experience, but faith sustained us,” said Linda who was no stranger to tragedy, having lost three other children at six months old or less. “You never get over losing a child, you just get through it.” Medical professionals told Linda that Audrey would best be served in an institution. Linda would have nothing of that. She brought Little Audrey home and immediately the family, which included two brothers and a sister, took Audrey under their protective wings. “The other children adored Audrey,” Linda told The Anchor. “Each of them learned what they needed to know to take care of their little sister. I didn’t work so I could be there for Audrey, and my loving parents took care of our bills and other things. God bless them. My parents were pillars of faith.” Santo said it was important to her family that they cared for Audrey. “They needed to be there for her, while many others like her have been isolated,” she said. Very soon after Audrey’s acci-
dent, hundreds of people came to the hospital and the home to pray for the little girl. And it also quickly became evident that Audrey had a mission in life, even in her altered state. Linda once stated that “Audrey does two things. She brings people back to Jesus, back to the sacraments, back to the Eucharist. And she is a statement of life in a culture of death.” The Eucharist was extremely important in Little Audrey’s life. While in the Akinetic Mutism state, she was still fully aware of her surroundings. At age four, she made her first Communion. Remarkably, for the 20 years she lived following her accident, Audrey received all of her nourishment through a “g-tube.” The only solids she consumed was the Body of Christ in the form of the host every day of her life since her first Communion. Over time unexplainable events occurred in the Santo home, most notably in Little Audrey’s room. Holy statues and pictures began to exude oil, and/or blood. The first picture to exude oil was the traveling image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the first statue to bleed was that of the Good Shepherd. “There were physical healings that people attributed to Little Audrey’s intercession,” said Linda. “And several young men who visited her eventually became priests.” Linda explained to The Anchor that through the years, many nurses had come to the home to assist in Little Audrey’s care. “Some were Catholic, some Jewish, and some Protestant. Most of them believed that Little Audrey was special in God’s eyes, and some even converted to Catholicism. Not all did, but even the nurses who didn’t, believed in what they saw happening.
paranormal presence — A statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus exudes oil in the chapel at the home of Little Audrey Santo in Worcester. A small cup just above Christ’s heart collects the oil. The photo in the background reveals four of the five consecrated hosts that have exhibited human blood at the Santo home.
They weren’t afraid to tell others that this was of God. “Jesus was with Little Audrey 24/7. She was never without him. He blessed her.” Mass was often celebrated in Little Audrey’s room by area priests. Unexplainably, five times a consecrated host exhibited human blood. The hosts were tested and all five contained human blood. The hosts are presently kept in a tabernacle in the residence of Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester. On Good Friday in 1996, blood
remarkable sight — A statue in the room of Little Audrey Santo reveals the blood-stained face of the Blessed Mother. Little Audrey’s photo is with the statue. (Photos by Dave Jolivet)
flowed from a tabernacle in Little Audrey’s room. And a chalice filled with white wine transubstantiated to the appearance of dark red dried blood. “I can remember the week before Sept. 11, 2001, Audrey cried a great deal. And the week before Hurricane Katrina, she put on 15 pounds of fluids, which was unusual for her,” said Linda. “I knew in both instances, something was going to happen.” Religious images continue to exude oil and blood more than two years after Little Audrey’s returned to the Father on April 14, 2007. The bishop’s commission has stated clearly they have found no trickery in the presence of the blood and oil. As her children grew older, Linda’s two oldest got married and had children of their own. “When the grandchildren were old enough, they too became a big part of Little Audrey’s life,” said Linda. “Her nieces and nephews would lie down with her and watch movies, and Little Audrey would cry at the sad parts. The children loved being with her.” When asked if Little Audrey suffered much, Linda responded, “She was at such peace. She had Jesus, and she was so coddled by her family. She had long beautiful hair that was always pristine. The kids would constantly brush it.”
February 19, 2010 Linda smiles broadly when she says her family members “all practice the Catholic faith today. They pray with their children.” Linda’s husband left after Audrey’s accident and returned nine years later, only to leave again. “We all pray for him,” said Linda. “It’s the right thing to do. We hope for the best for him.” Linda believes all of the unexplainable events in Little Audrey’s life were to help bring others closer to God. “Even though she was fed with a g-tube, she would still sometimes fast. The nurses would get upset, but I told them, ‘What can I say? She wants to do this.’” Little Audrey also exhibited medically unexplainable marks on her body resembling the wounds of her beloved Jesus. Audrey went back home to Jesus in 2007, at the age of 26, having lived 20 of those years as a magnet, drawing others back to the faith, or increasing the faith of others. When Little Audrey died, Bishop McManus released the following statement, “For many years, the Santo Family has devotedly cared for their beloved daughter Audrey, who suffered irreparable and irreversible harm from a neardrowning incident when she was a child. Audrey’s mother, Linda, in particular, has been by her side all these years and has never treated her as any less a member of the family, even though Audrey was bed-ridden and uncommunicative. “We may never fully understand the causes of various paranormal events which have been reported to have occurred in their home. At this time, however, one thing is certain. Everyone who visited their home was touched by the unswaying commitment to life that was exhibited each and every day by the Santo Family and by the extensive network of friends and volunteers. God works in mysterious ways, but most importantly, he works through each of us to make his love present for those who are most in need. “Today, we also stop and pray for so many like Audrey who are afflicted with illness and dire circumstances which force them to rely on the love and generosity of others. “Our task is not ended, however, as we pray for Audrey’s eternal rest and for the grieving Santo Family and their friends. We commend Audrey to God, the ever loving Father. May the angels lead her into paradise and may her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.” Linda told The Anchor that the usual protocol for initiating a sainthood cause is when the faithful petition the local bishop to look into it, then the bishop petitions the Vatican to initiate the process. “In Audrey’s case, the Vatican came to us,” she said. Less than a month after Little Audrey’s death, Dr. Andrea Abrosi, postulator from the Congregation of the Causes of Saints in the Vatican visited the
Santo Family for four days. He then met with Bishop McManus to begin the cause for Little Audrey, thereby making her a Servant of God. A foundation for the promotion of the sainthood cause for Little Audrey was established and in September 2008, Bishop McManus recognized The Little Audrey Santo Foundation, Inc., with Father John Foley as president. Linda Santo dedicated her life to her blessed Little Audrey, and even after her daughter’s death, she remains a very busy woman. “I was asked to speak at a ProLife convention in the midwest and I accepted,” said Linda. “When the time came to go, I really didn’t want to. I felt I had nothing to say, and I told a priest friend what I was thinking. He asked me, ‘What did God do with Moses?’ Not totally convinced, I approached another friend, a Protestant minister from Africa, and she asked, ‘What did God do for Moses?’ I knew I had to go, and I loved every minute of it.” Linda Santo travels often to help promote the sainthood cause of Little Audrey. “I know God continues to allow the statues and pictures to exude oil or blood to help the cause along,” she said. “Just as Jesus’ miracles drew people to him, these things help draw attention to Jesus. We hope that someday, Little Audrey will be the Pro-Life saint.” The life of Little Audrey Santo was a remarkable witness to the love God has for all his children. It was also a witness of a remarkable family who instead of feeling sorry for itself, embraced their daughter and sister, and exhibited the love of a family — of the Holy Family. Linda Santo will be present at St. Kilian’s Parish, 306 Ashley Boulevard, New Bedford, February 26 to speak about her precious Little Audrey Marie Santo. The evening begins with a Holy Hour at 6 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. Mass, celebrated by Father Rafael McGee, Friar of the Immaculate. Linda Santo will speak following the Mass. The sacrament of reconciliation will be available. For information call the rectory at 508-992-7587. For more on Little Audrey Santo, or to help the sainthood cause, visit www.littleaudreysanto.org. Prayer for the beatification of Little Audrey Santo
Eternal Father, I thank you for the gift of Audrey Santo and for her extraordinary witness to the world that all life, no matter how small, broken, or wounded, remains precious in Your eyes. Grant that she may be venerated as a Saint for the Glory of God. Hear the requests of all those who seek her intercession, especially the grace for which I now ask (mention here the favor you wish to pray for). I ask this through Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen. Say one Our Father one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.
Expanding the Cape Cod Canal from Bourne to Haiti continued from page 11
Good Friday Canal walks, so she has been handing out flyers to her contacts and I’ve been pasting them around the area.” An individual from the Greater Boston Red Cross caught wind of the walk and called Souza “offering whatever help she could provide.” Amazed at the outpouring from the parish and secular communities, Souza said, “God is definitely taking care of things for us.” In his flyer, Souza asks for donations of bottled water for the walkers and the Parent Teacher Organization of St. Margaret’s Regional School in Buzzards Bay have agreed to provide water bottles for the participants that will be available under the tent set up at the Bourne Bridge.” Many of the students didn’t know how to go about getting pledges from people, and Souza’s response was to the point. “I told the kids, just let people know that you are going to be walking three miles in cold, windy weather, making this sacrifice for people you don’t even know, and will never meet. Say ‘If I can make this sacrifice, perhaps you could sacrifice a donation. We’re doing what God wants us to do.’” “Joe has had a great impact on the youngsters at St. Margaret’s for years,” said pastor Father Francis De Sales Paolo, OFM. “He has a good sense of humor and a great rapport with them. What he’s doing with the canal walk doesn’t surprise me at all. He always has some project in mind for the kids. He’s always drumming up something. Joe is so innovative. The kids really admire him.”
In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks Feb. 22 Rt. Rev. Msgr. Jovite Chagnon, Founder, St. Joseph, New Bedford, 1954 Feb. 24 Rev. Edward F. McIsaac, Retired Chaplain, Rose Hawthorn Lathrop Home, 2002 Feb. 25 Rev. Leo J. Ferreira, V.G., Pastor, St. Mary, Brownsville, Texas, 1988 Rev. William T. Babbitt, Assistant, St. Mary, North Attleboro, 1998 Feb. 27 Rev. Philip Gillick, Founder, St. Mary, North Attleboro, 1874 Rev. Joseph N. Hamel, Founder, St. Theresa, New Bedford, 1956 Rev. John G. Carroll, Retired Pastor, St. Margaret, Buzzards Bay, 1995 Rev. Roland B. Boule, Retired Pastor, St. Anne, New Bedford, 2005 Feb. 29 Rev. Msgr. James Dolan, Retired Pastor, St. Mary, Taunton, 1980
February 19, 2010
The monies collected will be sent to Matthew 25 House located in Tennessee. Matthew 25:40 states, “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, that you did unto me.” The organization began in Tennessee in 1978 with the mission of “developing and maintaining linkages of Catholic parishes, institutions, and individuals in North America with parishes and institutions in the Caribbean and Latin America,” including Haiti. Souza said from there the proceeds will go directly to Matthew 25 people in Haiti. For a man who “is always drumming up something,” this expansion of the Cape Cod Canal
to Haiti may be his most memorable. Those who would like to participate in the event or sponsor a walker on February 28 are asked to contact Souza at 508743-4604. Those who would like to make a donation can bring a check to the gazebo in Buzzards Bay Park on Main Street beginning at 1 p.m., or they can mail a check to JAGUARS Youth Group, 141 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, Mass., 02532. Please be sure to include “For Haitian earthquake relief,” in the memo section of the check. All checks should be made payable to Matthew 25 House.
Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese Acushnet — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays end with Evening Prayer and Benediction at 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays end with Benediction at 2:45 p.m. ATTLEBORO — St. Joseph Church holds perpetual eucharistic adoration in the Adoration Chapel located at the (south) side entrance at 208 South Main Street. Please call the parish office for more information at 508-226-1115. Brewster — Eucharistic adoration takes place in the La Salette Chapel in the lower level of Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road, on First Fridays following the 11 a.m. Mass until 7:45 a.m. on the First Saturday of the month, concluding with Benediction and Mass. Buzzards Bay — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Margaret Church, 141 Main Street, every first Friday after the 8 a.m. Mass and ending the following day before the 8 a.m. Mass. EAST TAUNTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place First Fridays at Holy Family Church, 370 Middleboro Avenue, following the 8:30 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 8 p.m. FAIRHAVEN — St. Mary’s Church, Main St., has a First Friday Mass each month at 7 p.m., followed by a Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration. Refreshments follow. FALL RIVER — St. Anthony of the Desert Church, 300 North Eastern Avenue, has eucharistic adoration Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on the first Sunday of the month from noon to 4 p.m. 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. NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic adoration takes place 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 233 County Street, with night prayer and Benediction at 8:45 p.m., and confessions offered during the evening. NEW BEDFORD — There is a daily holy hour from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue. It includes adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the rosary, and the opportunity for confession. SEEKONK — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish has eucharistic adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508336-5549. NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place every First Friday at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring Street following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with Benediction at 6 p.m. The rosary is recited Monday through Friday at the church from 7:30 to 8 a.m. OSTERVILLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 76 Wianno Avenue on First Fridays following the 8 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 5 p.m. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed at 4:45 p.m.; on the third Friday of the month from 1 p.m. to Benediction at 5 p.m.; and for the Year For Priests, the second Thursday of the month from 1 p.m. to Benediction at 5 p.m. Taunton — Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place every First Friday at Annunciation of the Lord Church, 31 First Street, immediately following the 8 a.m. Mass and continues throughout the day. Confessions are heard from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., concluding with recitation of the rosary and Benediction at 6:30 p.m. Taunton — Eucharistic adoration takes place every Tuesday at St. Anthony Church, 126 School Street, following the 8 a.m. Mass with prayers including the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for vocations, concluding at 6 p.m. with Chaplet of St. Anthony and Benediction. Recitation of the rosary for peace is prayed Monday through Saturday at 7:30 a.m. prior to the 8 a.m. Mass. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street, holds perpetual eucharistic adoration. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716. WOODS HOLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Joseph’s Church, 33 Millfield Street, year-round on weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No adoration on Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays. For information call 508-274-5435.
Around the Diocese 2/21
St. Margaret’s Parish, 141 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, will host a Lenten Preparation talk on Divine Mercy Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Two Sisters from Our Lady of Mercy Congregation in Dorchester will be speaking followed by the praying of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Pro-Life Prayer Groups of Holy Trinity Parish in West Harwich and Holy Redeemer Parish in Chatham will host a Holy Hour for an end to abortion, at Holy Trinity Church, Route 28, West Harwich, February 22 at 1 p.m. The rosary will be followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
On Tuesdays during Lent starting February 23 and running through March 23, “The Seven Last Words of Christ” will be the theme of a Lenten series of programs at The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, 947 Park Street, Attleboro in the Welcome Center Room A in the morning at 11 a.m. to noon and then again from 7–8 p.m. The series features various speakers, including La Salette priests, Brothers and Sisters from the Shrine. There is no fee, but goodwill donations are always appreciated. For information call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 508-222-5410 or visit www.lasalette-shrine.org and click on calendar of events.
A Lenten prayer series “Breaking Open the Word” will begin February 24 at 7 p.m. in the school library at Holy Trinity Parish in Fall River. Reflection and faith sharing on the previous Sunday’s Scripture readings will provide the evening’s focus. For more information contact Pat Pasternak at 508-673-1284. All are welcome. no previous Bible study needed.
Linda Santo, mother of Little Audrey Santo, the Worcester girl who died in 2007 and whose cause for canonization is being advanced, will be participating in a night of prayer and speaking at St. Kilian’s Parish, 306 Ashley Boulevard, New Bedford, February 26 beginning at 6 p.m. The evening will include Mass and eucharistic adoration and all are welcome.
St. Nicholas of Myra Parish, North Dighton, will be holding a February Fair sponsored by its newly-formed Knights of Columbus Council. The fair will take place at the Pastoral Life Center, 499 Spring Street, February 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Local crafters will be selling their goods and there will be raffle prizes, a roll-up table, arts and crafts for kids, homemade baked goods and food.
COURAGE, a support group for Catholics wounded by same-sex attraction who gather to seek God’s wisdom, mercy and love, will next meet February 27 at 7 p.m. For location information, call Father Richard Wilson at 508-992-9408.
The JAGUARS (Jesus Always Guides Us Along Rough Situations) Youth Group at St. Margaret’s Parish, Buzzards Bay, will sponsor a Cape Cod Canal Walk for Haiti Relief February 28 beginning at 1 p.m. People will be committing to a three-mile walk from the train bridge to the Bourne Bridge and back. Participants should report to the gazebo in the Buzzards Bay Park on Main Street with their donations in check form made payable to “Matthew 25 House.” For more information call 508-743-4604.
The next ECHO weekend for girls will be March 5-7, and for boys March 26-28 at the Craigville Conference Center in Centerville. For information call Mary Fuller at 508-759-4265 or visit www.echoofcapecod.org for an application.
The Respect for Life Parish Nurse Ministries of Christ the King Parish, Mashpee, will host a Lenten Program on “End of Life Issues” March 5 at 11:30 a.m. in the parish hall. For more information, call 508-759-2737.
When an interview is not an interview
t was supposed to be a 15- or She lovingly shared the pain20-minute telephone interful journey of losing three infant view. Forty-five minutes later I children, before Little Audrey’s hung up, sat back and wondered at traumatic accident. As a parent what point did this morph from an who lost an infant son, I felt a interview to a conversation with a small kindred spirit with Linda, friend. who so aptly said, “You never get Last week, during a February over it, you just get through it.” snowstorm, I spoke with Linda As I said, the interview soon Santo for a story on her upcoming became a conversation, one that appearance at St. Kilian’s Parish ended much too soon. in New Bedford. Linda is the mother of Little Audrey Santo of Worcester. Little Audrey is the remarkable girl who after a pool accident at the age of three, lived the rest of her 20 By Dave Jolivet years in a state of Akinetic Mutism, meaning she had limited movement and was not speaking. Little Audrey’s life was filled When we were through, I knew with miracles, conversions, the I had to meet Linda in person, fulfillment of vocations and and I wanted Denise and Emilie unexplainable instances with holy to as well. We arranged a time, statues, pictures, and incredibly that unfortunately found Emilie at the precious Body and Blood of school, but Denise and I drove out Christ. to Linda’s Worcester home for a It didn’t take long before I was visit. completely charmed by Linda’s Without a GPS, we only got sense of humor, peace, and happilost two or three times, but still ness. arrived on schedule. But Linda She shared her story, as she has wasn’t home yet. She was out with hundreds of others I’m sure. visiting a prayer group friend who But I didn’t feel like the newsman was recently injured in a fall. pursuing his story, but more like a Her son graciously brought long-lost friend with some catchDenise and me to the chapel in ing up to do. the Santo home, while he phoned
My View From the Stands
mom to let her know we were there. There was such a peace in the chapel, which was filled with holy pictures and statues, some of which were exuding oil. Words can’t describe what holy ground we were on. Shortly, an apologetic Linda welcomed us into her home, where the warm conversation we began a few days earlier now included Denise. Linda brought us to Little Audrey’s room, itself a shrine of holy statues, pictures and reminders of wonderful Little Audrey. She told us Jesus was present in the tabernacle there. After we genuflected before our Lord, Linda showed us a chalice containing dried blood which had once been white wine before being consecrated. We were in complete awe. She left us alone in the room to pray. We asked for Little Audrey’s intercession in our private thoughts, and prayed to our Lord in the tabernacle. Again, what holy ground. Linda gifted us with some of the oils, prayer cards, a CD and a special token of Little Audrey for Emilie, adding that we must bring Emilie there some day for a visit. I know we will.
February 19, 2010 I tried to give her a donation toward the cause, but she refused, saying the story would be a help. For all Linda Santo has been through, she is one of the most peaceful persons I have met. There are many times in the life of a news person when an inter-
view feels more like a root canal. Then there are those rare occasions like the conversations with Linda Santo. It’s those times when I feel truly blessed by God for working in the Catholic press. It makes all those root canals worth it.