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The Anchor Diocese of Fall River

F riday , January 15, 2010

Diocesan faithful of all ages prepared to march for all life By Dave Jolivet, Editor NORTH DARTMOUTH — Route 95 South will see its share of pilgrims from the Diocese of Fall River rolling to the annual Pro-Life March in Washington D.C. on January 22. Scores of Pro-Lifers, young and old, are scheduled to attend many of the rallies, Masses, prayer services and ultimately the march itself to show their support for the value and importance of life — from conception to natural death. January 22 will mark the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in this country. This will also be the 37th March For Life in the nation’s capital, that historically draws hundreds of thousands to stand up for all life. Marian Desrosiers, director of

the diocesan Pro-Life Apostolate told The Anchor that seven full bus loads will be making the trek to D.C., carrying 350 pilgrims, including students from each of the diocese’s five Catholic high schools, clergy, chaperones, and others. “We are seeing such a positive response from our young people who want to go to the march,” she said. “They truly understand the urgency, especially this year with all the legal issues in proposed health care reform in this country. “They see this as a wonderful opportunity to stand up for all life and express the right to life in a peaceful manner.” The apostolate convoy will head out early January 21 and will gather at a “Life is Very Good,” youth rally at Holy Spirit

Catholic Church in Arlington, Va. that evening. The group was invited to the event by the Diocese of Arlington. On January 22, the day of the march, the group will attend a youth rally and Mass at the Verizon Center in Washington. “The Verizon Center event has grown so big that tickets are needed to attend,” said Desrosiers. “We were lucky enough to get enough tickets for all the youth to get in. The tickets were sold out in 12 minutes.” At the center, attendees will have the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. The rally will include various recording artists, followed by a Mass, at which Bishop George W. Coleman will be a concelebrant. Turn to page 13

return visit — A statue of Blessed André Bessette stands in St. Anne’s Shrine in Fall River, a church the future saint visited during his lifetime. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)

Blessed André Bessette’s mission in diocese recalled By Deacon James N. Dunbar

FALL RIVER — It was 1932 and the Great Depression still held a grip on the nation when a small man in the attire of a religious Brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross stepped off the train at the railroad station on North Main Street. “Thank God,” he might have said to himself that the stationmaster did not recognize him as others did in more northerly stations in Massachusetts and in Sutton, Saint-Cesaire and upward to Quebec City, where his arrival would have been announced: “Train arriving. Track One, Platform A. On board, Brother André of Canada, founder of St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal in Montreal.” In most locations his reputation as a saint and miracle worker preceded him. Crowds gathered as he got off the trains and at the hotels or presbyteries where he was staying. Each time, cases of healing attributed to his prayers to St. Joseph were reported in the local newspapers. The wonders Brother André worked at the Oratory aroused

the interest of the press, and his renown had already been read by those of French heritage in Fall River’s daily French newspaper, L’Independant, in which he was referred to as “Le thaumaturge de Montreal,” “the miracle man of Montreal.” At the time the French were the latest ethnic threads in the fabric of the mill city of Fall River, and Brother André had come to ask their monetary help to expand the oratory he began modestly in 1904 using the small sums he received cutting students’ hair, as well as donations. His dream to build a monument to his beloved St. Joseph was beginning to take shape. The huge numbers of pilgrims that would flock to the site and compel the pope to name the sanctuary a minor basilica, which was completed in 1966, almost 30 years after the holy Brother’s death in 1937, was yet to come. Today, the oratory is the world’s largest pilgrimage site to St. Joseph, attracting more than two million visitors a year. Turn to page 14

house call — Pro-Life advocates demonstrate in front of the White House in this file photo. This year’s March For Life events will include a demonstration across the street from the White House which will be attended by a group from St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet, the evening before the January 22 march. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Catholics connect by clicking into cyberspace By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff

FALL RIVER — At the dawn of 2010, Catholics are becoming much more technically proficient and are tapping into proven resources via the Internet to share God’s word and further evangelize prospective converts, once again paving the way for faster and better modes of communication. “We’re moving into an era where we’ve got to be on top of our game, so to speak,” said Msgr. Gerard P. O’Connor, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet. “Can you imagine in the Middle Ages when the Holy Father went out to say something it

would be weeks before word got out? Now when the pope says something, immediately throughout the world everyone knows what he’s saying. That’s great, because there can be no confusion.” In many ways, the Church has always been on the cutting edge when it comes to promulgating the faith — using first the printing press to publish copies of the Bible, then capitalizing on television and radio to reach an even wider audience — so it makes sense that the Internet would become another popular tool to connect with the faithful. “If you look back on the history of the Church, Turn to page 18

News From the Vatican


January 15, 2010

Forget doomsayers advises astronomer By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — Forget worrying over end-of-the-world predictions; lives are more at risk of being lost from smoking and driving without a seatbelt, said a Vatican astronomer. U.S. Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno said, there is no reason to believe the claims behind the new apocalyptic science fiction film, “2012,” or other doomsday scenarios. “People have been predicting the end of the world since the dawn of humanity. Up until now, none of these theories have turned out to be true and there is no reason to believe (that they will come true) in 2012,” he said in an interview published January 6 in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. The article’s headline read: “2012? It’s not the end of the world, at all.” Brother Consolmagno said there is a more serious problem behind the many forecasts of

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doom on the horizon. “These beliefs spread because we are all tempted by the desire to possess secret knowledge of the future, thinking that it will make us more powerful than others. In reality, this is only a sign of bad science or bad religion,” he said. However, the Vatican astronomer, who is a planetary scientist and an expert on meteorites, said scientists do study the possibility of asteroids plummeting to Earth. Comets and asteroids are continually heading toward Earth, he said, but most of them are very small or they land in the ocean or in sparsely populated areas. Yet, “sooner or later one of these bodies will hit an area that is more densely populated,” said Brother Consolmagno. Large impacts are rare, but one in Siberia in 1908 “created an explosion equivalent to an atomic bomb.” Something of that magnitude “may happen every hundred years,” he said. He said it’s worthwhile for scientists to keep their eyes on the 100,000 known asteroids to see if they might head into Earth’s orbit as well as to study what they are made of in order to better understand how to knock them out of range if need be. It’s also better to be more concerned about man-made disasters and to work on preventing them, he said. “It’s true that in addition to human activity, many other factors may be causing global warming, but the only things we can control are the things that are caused by us. For that reason, we must not give up any attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.” In the meantime, he said, “Not to panic. Just two precautionary measures are enough to increase the possibility of a long and healthy life: stop smoking and fasten your seatbelt.”

celebrating the christ child — Pope Benedict XVI greets a child and parents during the offertory at Mass on the feast of the Epiphany in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Insensitivity, smugness, pretension keep people from God, says pope VATICAN CITY (CNS) — An insensitive, hardened heart, over-confidence and world-weary smugness keep people from experiencing the true joy and love found in Jesus Christ, said Pope Benedict XVI. While the Christ child born in Bethlehem seems weak and fragile, in reality “he has the power to give the human heart the greatest and most profound joy” in the world, he said. The babe in the manger, he said, represents “the stupendous reality that God knows us and is near, that his grandeur and strength do not follow the logic of the world, but the logic of a defenseless baby whose only strength is the love he entrusts to us.” The pope made his remarks at a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica January 3, the feast of the Epiphany, which marks the manifestation of Jesus as savior to the world. In his homily, he asked people to reflect upon why there always seem to be so few people who believe in Jesus Christ. Just as after Christ’s birth many people witnessed the star of Bethlehem, but only few — like the Wise Men or Magi — actually responded to God’s invitation to follow a new path that would change the world, he said. “What is the reason that some see and find (Christ) and others don’t? What opens one’s eyes and heart? What is lacking in those who remain indifferent, those who know the way, but do not take it?” he asked. People do not accept Christ’s invitation to come to him when they are too self-assured and display the “pretentiousness of understanding reality perfectly well and the presumption of already having come to a definite judg-

ment about things, which makes their hearts closed and insensitive to the novelty of God,” he said. People need to let themselves be completely bowled over by “the adventure of a God that wants to come to them,” he said. What is missing in the world, he said, is authentic humility and courage, which allow people to recognize and put their trust in what is truly great, “even if it is manifested in a defenseless baby.” The capacity to be surprised, to be a child at heart, is missing, said the pope. Only when people use that sense of wonder to come out of their shell can they “follow the way indicated by the star, the way of God.” The pope said by bringing gifts fit for a king and prostrating in adoration, the Magi demonstrated their willingness to submit to the authority of the Christ child — the king of the Jews — and renounce their allegiance to the cruel and powerful sovereignty of King Herod. “They were led to also follow the way of the child, which would make them ignore the

The Anchor


great and powerful of this world and would bring them to the one waiting among the poor, to the path of love, which is the only thing that can transform the world,” he said. After the Mass, Pope Benedict gave his noonday Angelus address from his studio window to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. He dedicated his remarks to the Magi who were guided to Bethlehem by a star and who were the first to come and adore Jesus. He said the three men of learning and science are excellent examples of “authentic seekers of the truth” and of “the unity between intelligence and faith.” Far from believing that the knowledge gleaned from books and scientific research was sufficient, they were “open to further revelations and divine summons. In fact they were not ashamed to ask for guidance from Jewish religious leaders,” he said. They could have, but didn’t, exhibit the fear evident today of any “’contamination’ between science and the word of God,” said the pope. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 54, No. 2

Member: Catholic Press Association, Catholic News Service

Published weekly except for two weeks in the summer and the week after Christmas by the Catholic Press of the Diocese of Fall River, 887 Highland Avenue, Fall River, MA 02720, Telephone 508-675-7151 — FAX 508-675-7048, email: Subscription price by mail, postpaid $14.00 per year. Send address changes to P.O. Box 7, Fall River, MA, call or use email address

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January 15, 2010

The International Church


Mexico City Archdiocese says political party has declared war on society By David Agren Catholic News Service

a familiar ring — A city worker puts up Olympic banners on a light pole in Vancouver, British Columbia, recently. The Canadian west coast city is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, which begin February 12. (CNS photo/Andy Clark, Reuters)

Vancouver Archdiocese embraces ‘radical hospitality’ for Olympics VANCOUVER, British Columbia (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Vancouver is warming up for its own type of Olympic event. However, it won’t take place on ice or snow; it will be on the streets of the city. “(We) have embraced the theme of radical hospitality for our initiatives; that is, to see Jesus as both guest and host at these games,” Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller wrote in a letter to athletes and participants of the 2010 Winter Olympics. In the letter, Archbishop Miller said the city of Vancouver had prepared for the Olympics for years by improving infrastructure and building state-of-the-art sporting facilities. He also recognized the throngs of volunteers donating their time to make the XXI Winter Olympics a success. Vancouver and Whistler will

host the Olympics February 12-28 and the Paralympics March 12-21. “While you are here, we hope you will consider visiting one of the archdiocese’s downtown hospitality centers for athletes,” Archbishop Miller wrote, referring to Holy Rosary Cathedral and the archdiocesan offices. “We think you will find these places to be sanctuaries while you take a break from the rigors of competition,” he wrote. “We hope you will find a common language in the love of Jesus Christ.” He also noted the Olympics coincide with one of the most important times of the Christian year, the journey toward Easter. He invited all athletes to attend Ash Wednesday Mass February 17 and to celebrate Sunday Mass while they are in the area. The archdiocesan website includes church locations and Mass times.

Iraqi archbishop: Christians, tired of waiting, will leave country LONDON (CNS) — An Iraqi archbishop has predicted a new wave of emigration from Iraq involving Christians who have tired of waiting for their situation to improve. Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk said many Christians taking refuge in northern Iraq were determined “to leave the country for good” after concluding that, nearly seven years after the invasion of Iraq by a U.S.-led coalition, it was still unsafe to return to their homes in the South. He told the British branch of Aid to the Church in Need, a charity set up to help suffering and persecuted Christians, that a lack of jobs and services in the Kurdish north would speed emigration. In a January 6 statement issued by the charity, Archbishop Sako said: “In Kurdistan, the security is

quite good, but there are no jobs, no services and facilities in the new villages built by the Kurdish government. “Therefore many families are leaving the country for good,” he said. “They have no jobs, no schools and they have big problems with the language. There are no services — electricity, potable water, infrastructure are their problems.” According to Aid to the Church in Need, the Christian population in Iraq has dropped from 1.4 million in 1987 to barely 300,000 today, with many fleeing terror attacks and persecution after the ousting of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Over the Christmas season Christians were subjected to attacks, and security fears led Archbishop Sako to cancel Christmas Masses in Kirkuk.

MEXICO CITY — The Archdiocese of Mexico City has accused a leading political party of “declaring war on Mexican society” by approving laws that legalize same-sex marriage and permit homosexuals to adopt children in the nation’s capital. In an interview published online by the archdiocesan publication, Desde la Fe, Father Hugo Valdemar Romero, archdiocesan spokesman, also accused the Democratic Revolution Party of showing “its true face ... intolerance and hatred toward the Catholic Church.” He said it resorted to the same anti-democratic tactics that the Mexican left decried during previous decades of authoritarian, one-party rule. “The (party) has declared war on Mexican society because it can’t ignore that the vast majority of it is Christian, whether it’s Catholic, evangelical or other smaller churches that show a great respect for life and the family,” Father Valdemar said. He added that the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches — a group often at odds with the Catholic Church — and the country’s Greek Orthodox Church had come out against the same-sex marriages

laws, too. The interview was the latest in a war of words that included accusations that a former Mexico City cardinal had a son and threats of a defamation lawsuit. On January 4, the national president of the Democratic Revolution Party, Jesus Ortega, said he would file complaints with the Interior Ministry accusing the archdiocese of improper church meddling in political matters. Ortega demanded the Church hierarchy stop its attacks on his party and that the Interior Ministry enforce constitutional mandates that forbid religious leaders from weighing in on political matters. The new same-sex marriage laws in Mexico City take effect in March. The city’s National Action Party is attempting to gain the backing of one-third of the Mexico City Assembly to file a constitutional challenge with the Supreme Court. The December 21 approval of same-sex marriage by the assembly — where the Democratic Revolution Party and its allies hold a majority — further strained the already tense relationship between the Archdiocese of Mexico City and the local government, which has promoted liberalized abortion and euthanasia laws over the

past three years. Father Valdemar said the relationship also was strained by allegations from a Democratic Revolution Party assemblyman, Victor Romo, who told reporters the late Mexico City Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada was among those initiating the attacks on his party. Romo, upon being told the cardinal was dead, suggested the person in question was “his son.” Romo later clarified his comments to infer that Cardinal Corripio had “ideological and political children” that supposedly fill the ranks of the Catholic-friendly National Action Party and a secretive organization known as El Yunque (The Anvil.) He also asked for dialogue with Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, the current archbishop of Mexico City, but Father Valdemar said that would not happen until Romo publicly retracted all of his comments. Father Valdemar added that Cardinal Corripio had a nephew, not a son, with the same name. Armando Martinez Gomez, president of the College of Catholic Lawyers of Mexico, told Catholic News Service that he would file a defamation suit against the Democratic Revolution Party.

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January 15, 2010 The Church in the U.S. Catholics mull how to welcome their own back into the fold

By Katie Bahr Catholic News Service ARLINGTON, Va. — Two women who have returned to their Catholic faith after years away have written a book, “When They Come Home,” as a guide for parishes on how to minister to returning Catholics. The women, Anna LaNave and Melanie Rigney, parishioners of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Arlington, say parishes need to reach out to inactive members by tailoring parish programs to meet their needs. “The Church really needs to come up with a strategy for how to bring these Catholics back,” LaNave said. “Otherwise, we’re going to have a very strong marginally Catholic group now, but in the next generation, it won’t be marginal. It will be none.” At St. Charles Borromeo, LaNave is facilitator for a program called Landings that is designed to welcome back those returning to the faith. The book she co-authored sets guidelines for how Catholics can set up and run programs such as Landings at their own parishes. It also provides tips on how to make a parish more welcoming to returning Catholics, how to market a pro-

gram on the Internet and how to sis, they can go to (Rite of Chris- president of the Paulist National run meetings in a way that eases tian Initiation for Adults) and be Catholic Evangelization Associa“inactives” back into the Church a sponsor or attend Cursillo or tion, has similarly recommended instead of intimidating them or Bible study.” parish programs that reach out to LaNave said these programs inactive Catholics. scaring them away. LaNave and Rigney recom- should be thought of as a journey At a recent workshop at Our mend that parish programs for and a slow progress. The first Lady of Mercy Parish in Hicksreturning Cathoville, N.Y., he lics provide a noted that nachance to ask tionally 32 perquestions or cent of Cathodiscuss issues. lics rarely or Many inactive never attend or returning Mass, while 24 Catholics have percent attend not been exa few times a posed to Catholyear, 21 percent icism since their at least once a childhood and, month, and 23 as a result, have percent weekly only a fourth- or welcome home — Father Nicholas Figliola accepts the gifts or more. For fifth-grade level during Mass at St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in Sayville, N.Y. Catholics who of understand- Since 2003, the parish has hosted a series of meetings called grew up after the ing about the “Catholics Returning Home” aimed at providing outreach to Cath- Second Counfaith. Programs olics who have been away from the Church for varying lengths of cil, the percentsuch as Land- time and for various reasons. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, ages of those ings serve as Long Island Catholic) attending Mass a place where and expressing they can come and have their step for ministers is to help inac- a strong identification with the questions answered in an envi- tive Catholics feel welcome and Church are even lower. ronment where they won’t feel encourage them to attend Mass Among Catholics of the preweekly. Encouragement to go Vatican II and the immediate embarrassed. “It’s the first opportunity to to confession — often the most post-Vatican II eras who have ask questions,” LaNave said. frightening thing for returning drifted from active involvement, “Once they finish the program, if Catholics — should come later. there are degrees of hostility Paulist Father Frank DeSiano, and anger, Father DeSiano said. they feel like they need cateche-

Some have joined other churches. Catholics from that generation need to be approached with great sensitivity. “They are not ex-Catholics. They are not angry Catholics,” but are more prone to apathy and weakened identity, Father DeSiano said. “Because they attend Mass irregularly, they could better be described as episodic Catholics.” The most effective way to engage them is through small groups where they can feel secure and begin to grapple with their faith, Father DeSiano said. The key is a sense of welcome, rather than judgment, and the presence of people with whom they can bond. “It’s the relationships that will draw them,” he said, suggesting programs like Landings or the Paulists’ Awakening Faith. Some dioceses have launched media campaigns to invite inactive Catholics back to church. In mid-December, the Diocese of Providence, R.I., launched a sixweek bilingual campaign — as part of a 16-month program — with television advertisements produced by Catholics Come Home, an apostolate that produces media campaigns for inactive Catholics.

January 15, 2010

The Church in the U.S.

the best medicine — Dr. Anne Mielnik, left, founding director of Gianna — The Catholic Healthcare Center for Women, prays with patient Judith Guzman in the center’s newly opened office in New York recently. Located in midtown Manhattan, the center is dedicated to providing primary care, obstetrics, Natural Family Planning and infertility treatment with a Catholic Pro-Life approach. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

N.Y. doctor works to deliver care consistent with Catholic values By Beth Griffin Catholic News Service NEW YORK — “Catholic women in many communities feel they have no access to health care that is consistent with their values,” said the founding director of a new women’s medical center in midtown Manhattan that will provide “authentically Catholic” primary care, obstetrics, natural family planning and infertility treatment. Dr. Anne Mielnik said Gianna — The Catholic Healthcare Center for Women — is the first dedicated practice in New York and one of only a handful in the country to offer a combination of effective infertility treatment alternatives instead of morally objectionable assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization. The facility, sponsored by St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, opened December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. “There’s no suffering comparable to what you see in an infertile couple,” Mielnik said. “They’re desperate to have a child and when they look for guidance, they end up in an IVF clinic. They’re balancing their desperation for a child with doing what they know is wrong.” The Gianna center uses the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, a natural method of family planning and gynecological health monitoring, in conjunction with a comprehensive system of reproductive health management called natural procreative technology, or NaPro technology. Both methods were developed by Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers, founder of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduc-

tion in Omaha, Neb. Mielnik graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and completed her family medical training at Lancaster (Pa.) General Hospital in 2009. She met her medical partner, Dr. Kyle Beiter, an obstetrician and gynecologist, while studying NaPro technology in Omaha. As a medical student, Mielnik said she dreamed of starting a program that would provide health care and educational services to women to “counter the Planned Parenthood sex education curriculum.” She said she started the John Paul II Center for Women in Marietta, N.Y., in September 2008 “in response to the pleas of Catholic women for access to reproductive health care and family planning options which affirm their dignity as women and conform to the Catholic Church’s teachings regarding human sexuality and medical ethics.” The John Paul II center is directed by Joan Nolan, a Creighton Model FertilityCare practitioner. Mielnik said the John Paul II center’s mission is to open Gianna centers for women throughout the United States. Mielnik said she and the John Paul II center initially planned to open a small medical practice in New York with the support of a Pro-Life benefactor. Serendipitously, she was recruited by the chairman of the St. Vincent’s Medical Center obstetrics department to establish her Gianna center under St. Vincent’s banner. She called St. Vincent’s “the last Catholic hospital in Manhattan, the last Pro-Life hospital” and said it had a waiting list of people interested in NaPro tech-

nology and had been trying to recruit a NaPro-trained physician for two years. Mielnik said NaPro technology addresses infertility by diagnosing and correcting its causes instead of using synthetic hormones to suppress or bypass a woman’s reproductive system. She said problems including anatomical and hormonal abnormalities, infections and ovulation disorders are addressed with sur-

gical procedures and compounded hormones. Surgeries can open blocked fallopian tubes, remove endometriosis and treat polycystic ovarian disease, she said. By identifying a possibly subtle hormone deficiency and replacing the hormone with an identical compound, delivered at the appropriate time in a woman’s menstrual cycle, Mielnik said NaPro technology can correct conditions that compromise fertility. Mielnik said NaPro technology is twice as successful as in vitro fertilization, as measured by the number of live births among women using it to help achieve pregnancy. It is also significantly less expensive, rarely results in multiple pregnancies and does not result in frozen embryos. NaPro technology is also used to treat recurrent miscarriages, premenstrual syndrome, menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, postpartum depression and premature births. Mielnik said couples who visit the Gianna center for infertility have an initial 90-minute consultation, followed by a two- to fourmonth monitored evaluation of the wife’s charted menstrual and fertility cycle. Corrective surgery or hormonal therapy then may be implemented. The Gianna center also will

5 work closely with the New York Archdiocese to offer an educational curriculum that promotes a view of women consistent with their dignity as daughters of God, said Mielnik. She said the John Paul II center supports Catholic physicians with a confidential Listserv for discussion of ethics and resources. “There is tremendous power in the knowledge of church teaching,” she said. A Pro-Life doctor is a “lone voice in most health care systems,” she said, and the Listserv “is a place where Catholic physicians can support one another and share resources.” The center is named for St. Gianna Beretta Molla, an Italian physician and married mother of four who refused to abort her youngest child when a uterine tumor threatened her own life during the pregnancy. She died in 1962 shortly after the 10-pound baby was born. Mielnik said St. Gianna is a model for true femininity. She said the saint lived a life of great sanctity, balancing her personal and professional roles. “She gave her life for her child, but it wasn’t a question of her life or her child’s, but which action — orphaning her children or giving life — was the greater good,” she said. “She chose to give life.”


The Anchor Two important occasions in the Year For Priests

When civil governments declare a special year — like last year’s celebrations of the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln — it generally remains on the periphery of most people’s lives. When the Church, however, declares an ecclesiastical holy year — like the Years of the Rosary, the Eucharist, St. Paul and the present Year For Priests — it is meant to have a central influence on how individual Catholics and the Church as a whole live and worship throughout the year. The Catholic Church in the United States is now in the midst of the 25th annual National Vocation Awareness Week, which concludes tomorrow. On Monday the Church throughout the world will begin the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year both of these periods of prayer can and should be enhanced by the larger ecclesiastical Year For Priests we’re celebrating. 2010 marks the 35th National Vocation Awareness Week, which begins on the feast of the baptism of the Lord and continues throughout the first week of Ordinary Time. The timing is to meant to indicate that by our baptism every Catholic has been called to holiness, and that for most of us that holiness is to be sought and lived in our ordinary day-to-day lives. The U.S. bishops ask us during these days to reflect upon the vocational meaning of our existence and to pray for others that they may awaken to the revelation of the Lord’s plans for them. In particular, they ask us to make an extra effort to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life; for those God is calling to the single life as celibates in the world; and for those with the vocation to marriage, that they might seek the sanctification of their spouses and children. During this Year For Priests, this week of prayer and education is a time to recognize just how crucial the vocation to the priesthood is to the life of the Church: without the priesthood and the sacraments the priest makes possible, it would be much more difficult — almost impossible — for any of the baptized to live out their vocation to sanctity. It is, therefore, also an occasion to pray to the Harvest Master with gratitude and supplication for those who are already priests, those in formation for the priesthood, those discerning a priestly vocation and those yet totally unaware that God is calling them to this path of holiness and the sanctification of others. In late 2007, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy — in recognition of the truths that the priesthood is essential to the universal call to holiness and that in some places priestly vocations are in short supply — began a worldwide effort asking the people of God to pray for priestly vocations. In a beautiful and highly-recommended booklet entitled “Adoration, Reparation and Spiritual Motherhood for Priests,” it lifted up as a model of the type of prayer it was proposing to the tiny village of Lu Monferrato in northern Italy. In 1881, a time of increasing secularism and virulent anti-clericalism, the mothers of this tiny village of a few thousand inhabitants, conscious of the need for priestly vocations, began to gather each Tuesday afternoon for eucharistic adoration to ask the Harvest Master to send priestly laborers. They would make together the following prayer: “O God, grant that one of my sons may become a priest! I myself want to live as a good Christian and want to guide my children always to do what is right, so that I may receive the grace, O God, to be allowed to give you a holy priest! Amen!” That prayer, and their fervent desire for vocations, bore more fruit than any of them could have ever imagined. In the span of a few decades, this one village parish — much smaller than many of the parishes in the Diocese of Fall River — produced 152 priestly vocations and 171 religious women to 41 different congregations. The same Lord who abundantly answered their prayers still listens attentively and lovingly to ours. This National Vocation Awareness Week, within the Year For Priests, is a propitious time for all of us in the Church to pray for priestly vocations with even greater trust and perseverance that the people of Lu Monferrato, because the need for priests today is even greater. The Year For Priests is also supposed to have an influence on how we experience the Octave for Christian Unity, which begins on Monday and culminates, as it always does, on the January 25 feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the priest-apostle who worked so hard not only to build the Church but to keep it united as “one body and one spirit” with “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all” (Eph 4:4-6). During this Year For Priests, the principle focus, as in everything the Church does, is meant to be on Jesus Christ, the eternal high priest. When we examine his “great priestly prayer,” made to the Father on the night before he was executed, we see that he prayed principally for two things: for the holiness of the Apostles and all those to whom they would hear the Gospel through them; and for unity among all believers, “that they may be all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you” (Jn 17:20-21). As priest, during the first Mass, Jesus prayed that our unity with each other be as complete as the perfect unity that exists between the persons of the Blessed Trinity. We might be tempted to dismiss Jesus’ prayer as something that, however beautiful, is clearly unachievable. Jesus, however, would never have prayed for something intrinsically impossible because prayer for him was not an exercise in “wishful thinking.” Moreover, it is inconceivable that God the Father would refuse the prayer of his Son. Before he raised Lazarus from the dead, Jesus gave witness to this truth, saying, “I thank you, Father, for having heard me. I know that you always hear me” (Jn 11:42). Therefore, if Jesus were praying that we be one, that we be as united among ourselves as the Persons in the Blessed Trinity are united, then that must mean it is not impossible and that the Father heard that prayer. While it is true that full communion will be finalized in heaven in the communion of saints, it is also clear that Jesus was praying for it in this world. During the same discourse he said, “I am not asking you to take them [us] out of the world.” He wanted us to be “in” the world without being “of” it, and gave us the reason why: our unity in this world was to be the greatest sign of all of who God is and how God loves us. “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you,” he implored, “may they also be in us, so that … the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (Jn 17:15-23). Christian unity, in other words, will be the greatest testimony of God’s love and of the truth of Christ’s words and deeds. Division among Christians, on the contrary, will obscure that truth and love — and obviously has over the course of history. If this communion with God and with each other meant so much to the Lord that he poured out his heart praying for it in his great priestly prayer to the Father, then each of us who loves the Lord Jesus must make it our life’s mission to pray and work to bring about that communion of love. Priests and faithful alike, especially during this Year For Priests, need to support our High Priest in this, his ardent priestly desire.

January 15, 2010

The cross of clerical criticism and envy

When I was a seminarian, a priest I knew was an “exceptionally poor student,” and still barely taking me out to dinner. On the way to the res- knew Latin. The situation was aggravated when taurant, we passed a church whose territory bor- some mentally unstable people returned from dered the parish where he was pastor. Since there Ars proclaiming that Father Vianney was a better was no sign on the property, I asked him what priest than their pastors and often inventing words the church was called. He told me its name and to put in the Curé of Ars’ mouth to justify their then added, “Some bad developments happening foolish behavior. One pastor received a stipend there.” I braced myself for the worst as I asked from a lady to pray for a special intention, only to him, “What’s going on?” discover later that the special intention was that he “A holy priest has moved in,” he responded be removed and Father Vianney take his place. mournfully. That answer and tone caught me offSeveral of the surrounding pastors, alarmed guard. that the people were esteeming a colleague whom In my ecclesiastical naiveté, I queried why they believed too simple-minded, began to take that was a “bad” development. “The worst thing action. Many forbade their parishioners to go to for a pastor,” he replied, with words I’ve never Ars. Others wrote to the bishop. Several used their been able to forget, “is when a holy priest moves Sunday sermon to preach, not about the good next door. Everyone starts comparing you to him news, but against the Curé of Ars. Father Vianney and they begin changing their expectations.” got wind of what his colleagues were doing and it This particular priest’s attitude toward a holy wounded him, as silly as it was. “Poor little Curé colleague in his midst is by no means represen- of Ars,” he said. “What do they not make him say! tative, but it was an eye-opening experience for What do they not make him do! They are now me. At least some priests, I realized, rather than preaching on him and no longer on the Gospel!” rejoicing at the sanctity of a colleague, regard it as He started receiving “hate mail” from his brotha problem or even a threat. er priests. One of the more famous examples came This story from the 1990s is useful to un- from Father Jean-Louis Borjon, a newly-ordained derstand the negative reactions of many priests priest in a village five miles from Ars. Jealous that in 19th-century France to the Curé of Ars. Last so many of his parishioners were going to Ars, week we described the opposition Father Vian- Father Borjon denounced him from the pulpit. He ney suffered from then wrote to his lay people who neighbor, chargdidn’t want a ing, among other holy pastor callthings: “When ing them to cona man knows as version. Today little theology as we discuss the you, he should even more painnot go into the By Father ful antagonism confessional.” Roger J. Landry from those priests Father Vianwho didn’t want a ney was grieved holy colleague. and wondered The opposition began with Father Tripier, the whether God might indeed be offended by his cleric who was appointed Curé of Ecully after the service in Ars. He wrote the young priest back, death of the Father Vianney’s mentor and first pas- “Most dear and most venerated confrere, what tor, Father Charles Balley. When Father Tripier good reasons I have for loving you! You are the arrived, he found the rectory more like an austere only person who really knows me. Since you are monastery than a place of priestly comfort. Even so good and kind as to take an interest in my poor though the people loved their parochial vicar, Fa- soul, do help me to obtain the favor for which I ther Tripier thought that Father Vianney — in his have been asking for so long a time: that being retattered and patched cassock, unpolished shoes, leased from a post which I am not worthy to hold and drooping hat — was disgracefully attired for by reason of my ignorance, I may be allowed to a priest, especially one near Lyons, where priests retire into a little corner, there to weep over my were famous for their external deportment. He poor life.” was upset that Father Vianney did not share his Father Vianney’s sincerity and humility deeply interest in good food and drink, preferring instead moved Father Borjon, who, pierced with comto fast or to eat the smallest portions possible. punction, ran to Ars to beg Father Vianney’s forHe was particularly perturbed that the curate did giveness. Vianney warmly embraced him. Therenot share his pastoral priority to give preferential after the young priest became one of the Curé of care to the well-to-do families of the parish. All Ars’ greatest supporters. of these offenses led Father Tripier to conclude The priests of the region eventually composed that there was something wrong with the future a circular petition calling on the bishop to remove patron saint of priests — he was too “rigid” and Father Vianney because of his supposed ignoeccentric — and to ask for him to be transferred. rance. By accident the petition was sent to Ars. After he had been appointed to Ars, many of Father Vianney read it and saw the names and the priests from the surrounding districts echoed denunciations. His response? He signed his own Father Tripier’s censures. The well-dressed cler- name to it and sent it off to the bishop, hoping that gy thought that he was vested more like a beggar the bishop would react by sending someone more than as a priest. Some teased him about it; others “capable” to Ars. The prelate, however, seeing Vicriticized him and even judged him, claiming that anney’s signature, and marveling at his humility, he dressed shabbily in order to attract attention decided — as a means by which to justify Father by pretending to be humble and holy. One priest Vianney in the eyes of his colleague — to send refused to remain near him until he put on a bet- a canon of the cathedral to examine the situation. ter hat. Another denounced him in his presence During the visitation, Father Vianney submitted to the bishop for not wearing a sash on his cas- a list of 200 difficult cases of conscience he had sock. His eccentricity was confirmed, the priests confronted along with his solutions. The prelate asserted, when on a parish mission they bought found the solutions unfailingly correct. him a pair of warm velvet trousers to wear under After the examination, when priests continhis thin cassock on his long wintry walk home. ued to call Vianney “mad,” the bishop routinely Along the way, he met a shivering beggar and replied, “Gentlemen, I wish that all my clergy had exchanged his warm new pants for the beggars’ a small grain of the same madness!” The bishop cold, old ones. Such actions, which were some- granted him faculties, rare at the time, to hear conwhat routine, elicited derision and disapproval fessions anywhere throughout the diocese. With from his brother priests rather than admiration for time the bishop’s support and admiration began his charity and selflessness. to be emulated by most of the presbyterate. The Things got worse once the lay faithful from greatest redemption of St. John Vianney’s reputathroughout the region, during parish missions, tion among his brother priests occurred in subsestarted going to confession preferentially to Fa- quent clergy convocations where, even though he ther Vianney, and especially when they started to was listed as one of many official confessors, most make pilgrimages to Ars to confess to him there. of his brother priests chose to confess to him. Many of his brother priests — at least a few, They began to see, in short, that having a holy blinded by envy — deemed such choices by the priest as a neighbor is not a “bad development” lay people “spiritually dangerous.” The Curé of but a grace for faithful and priests alike. Ars, after all, had spent only five months total in Father Landry is pastor of St. Anthony of seminary, had been dismissed from it for being Padua Parish in New Bedford.

Putting Into the Deep

January 15, 2010


cannot remember a day in my life when I did not want to be a priest. Even at an early age of five or six, I can always remember answering the question, “What do you want to be when you grow-up?,” with the answer, “A priest.” When did I begin to answer the call to priesthood? My first answer to the call of service in the Church came after my first holy Communion when I haunted Father Tom Lopes, the assistant at St. Elizabeth Parish in Fall River, to let me be an altar boy. At first Father Tom was reluctant to say yes for two reasons: my head just about reached the top of the high altar; and I had to learn Latin, since in 1965 the Latin Mass was still celebrated. I did not take no for an answer. Every chance I had to ask Father Tom, I would — and believe me there were many opportunities for me to bug him, since he was not only the assistant at the parish but a friend of the family who often visited our home. He had only one choice, which was to say yes to a very persistent six-year-old.
I attended altar boy classes that summer on Saturday mornings. We



The Anchor

From altar boy to priest

learned the rubrics of the Mass would be with Father Medeiros. as well as the Latin responses, Even though Father Tom had which were drummed into my told us that we would not only head by memory because I be assisting him but also our could not read the Latin on the pastor, I was nonetheless caught servers’ cards. I thank my mom off guard and wanted to turn for helping me with the prayers around and run out. and responses. Every day we Since it was time to begin, would go over the responses so however, I processed out to the that I finally had them memoaltar with the older servers and rized. During the Saturday Father Medeiros. My role was morning classes, we also learned small but needed: to bring Fahow to serve at funerals, weddings and BeneYear For Priests diction of the Blessed Sacrament. Vocational Reflection I passed the training classes and my first time serving at the altar was By Father for a Sunday afternoon Maurice O. Gauvin Benediction. I arrived at the church the required half-hour before it started, went ther Medeiros the humeral veil to the “Altar Boy Sacristy,” and at the appropriate time. put on my cassock and surplice. Well, I missed my cue — and Together with the older altar even now I still hear, in a deep boys, I went out into the church, almost Dracula-like voice traced knelt at the altar rail, said a few with a Portuguese accent, “Mr. quiet prayers before the cerGauvin, will you please get the emony, genuflected, and went to cape?” the priests’ sacristy. There I was “Yes, Father,” I replied, and struck with panic because Father brought the humeral veil, placed it João Medeiros, our pastor, was on his shoulders, knelt down to rethere. Until that afternoon every ceive the Benediction and quickly thing I had done in preparaand on cue retrieved the veil. tion had been with Father Tom; Why have I shared this now the first time I was to serve story with you? It’s to show

that a vocation to the priesthood begins at an early age for some men. An early vocation to the priesthood needs to be fostered by family and parish alike. My family and the parish community of St. Elizabeth fostered and encouraged my vocation to the priesthood. I am grateful to my family for always supporting my vocation. I am thankful for the priests who have influenced my life’s vocation to the priesthood by their lived example of priestly life and service: Fathers Thomas Lopes, João Medeiros, Daniel Freitas, Jorge de J. Sousa, Joseph Viveiros and Manuel Ferreira have all in their own particular manner influenced my answering the call to service in the Church. What might have happened if, at the end of Benediction some 44 years ago, I was told by Father Medeiros that it was wrong of me to have missed my cue, or if my mom and dad who were in church that afternoon together with my grandparents and godparents would had told me that I had embarrassed them so it was better for me to give up serving as an altar boy? I most

likely would not be writing this article for The Anchor! They didn’t, however, and I am proud to say that I never really left or quit serving as an altar boy. I took the next logical step for me after high school, applying for the seminary. After seven years of rather challenging studies, I was ordained to the priesthood by the Bishop Daniel A. Cronin on May 31, 1986 at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. A vocation to the priesthood is a fragile thing in our times. It needs to be treated like a priceless jewel. If you know a young man who may be exhibiting signs of a vocation to the priesthood, encourage him and his family to nurture the call that he has received from God. Also please pray for vocations to the priesthood, that the Lord of the harvest will send workers into the fields. I ask that in your generosity you also pray for me and my brothers in the priesthood, that we continue faithfully to follow the Lord in our daily lives as we renew the commitments we first made at our ordinations. Father Gauvin is parochial vicar at Holy Trinity Parish in West Harwich.

Medicine and the true cost of being in denial

ack in the early 1800s, most practicing physicians refused to believe that the simple gesture of washing their hands between patients could help prevent the spread of childbed fever among the pregnant women they examined. Even in the face of compelling scientific evidence, they remained stubbornly opposed to the practice. As a result of this intransigence on the part of the medical establishment over a period of many years, childbed fever (also known as puerpural infection) ended up unnecessarily claiming the lives of thousands of young women. Today, a similar intransigence exists among many physicians who refuse to “wash their hands” of abortion; they also fail to acknowledge a key and dangerous effect of abortion on women’s health, namely, an increased risk of breast cancer. Abortion of a woman’s first pregnancy has been shown to correlate with an elevated incidence of breast cancer. Yet the medical community, by fostering the practice of abortion, has stubbornly ignored this link, refusing to inform women about this serious health risk, even in the face of compelling scientific evidence. This long-running intransigence means that women

today, not unlike the 1800s, con- other pressures and misguided beliefs. tinue to die unnecessarily. Today’s medical establishIn the 1840s, when Dr. Ignaz ment faces a similar temptation Semmelweis began requiring of placing various irrational that physicians and medical students wash their hands before ideologies ahead of a patient’s best interests. As modern examining women or delivermedicine subtly morphs into a ing their babies, the mortality schizophrenic discipline that at rate dropped from 18 percent to 1.3 percent in the maternity ward in the hospital in Vienna. Yet most of Dr. Semmelweis’ co-workers thought handwashing was a waste of time, and By Father Tad refused to comply or Pacholczyk acknowledge its importance until several more decades had passed. Meanwhile, times works to save young huyear after year, he continued to man patients in the womb, but at provide statistical evidence that other times works to harm that handwashing saved lives, and, same patient population through year after year, he was critiabortion, it becomes but a short cized in scientific journals, and next step to downplay or ignore ridiculed by leading physicians throughout Europe. Semmelweis the harmful effects that abortion has on women, as in the case of was eventually fired from his job at the hospital because of his the abortion-breast cancer link. More than 28 different insistence on handwashing. studies over a period of 45 Those who were supposed years have shown abortion to to be dedicated to saving lives be a significant risk factor for in the medical establishment breast cancer. Not only has the of the early 1800s were instead epidemiological evidence been more concerned about political abundant to implicate abortion correctness and committed to preserving their own entrenched in this way, but it has also been academic interests. Best medical shown that childbearing to full practice became subordinated to term for a woman’s first preg-

Making Sense Out of Bioethics

nancy, especially at an early age, affords a significant protective effect against breast cancer. A number of scientists and physicians (especially those with connections to the abortion industry) have been quick to suggest that these research results were “inconsistent” and that they could not really arrive at “definitive conclusions.” As a result, young women today rarely receive sound medical information about these risks from their health care providers. Abortion is aggressively marketed as a “woman’s right” and has become one of the most common and lucrative surgical procedures today. So many within the medical establishment, including various professional associations like the American Medical Association, seem to shy away from serious discussions of abortion’s health risks. A few years ago, George Lundberg, M.D., former editor of the “Journal of the American Medical Association,” noted during an interview with “Health Affairs” magazine how certain topics like abortion and tobacco were “sensitive issues” that had been on the American Medical Association’s “don’t touch” list for many years.

The danger of breast cancer from induced abortion constitutes a serious health risk that women deserve to be fully and properly informed about, and the ethical failure on the part of the medical establishment and by various cancer watchdog groups in this regard is noteworthy and troubling. Until the practice of modern medicine once again includes a repudiation of direct abortion as part of its professional creed in the way it once did when physicians took the Hippocratic Oath, little progress will be made in addressing a number of serious women’s health issues linked to abortion, including breast cancer. Modern medicine still desperately needs to break free from its steadfast denial and to wash its hands of the unsavory and immoral practice of abortion if it ever hopes to minister in a fully responsible way to the health needs of pregnant women and their children. Father Pacholczyk earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, and serves as the director of Education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See



’ve never been a wine connoisseur. Give me a White Zinfandel and I’ll be happy. But I know many people who handle wine bottles as if they are cradling newborn babies. They admire, then open, pour, swirl, and taste. When the wine is judged to be “just right,” it is offered to all in celebration at a banquet, perhaps a wedding, or as a way to welcome family and friends at a simple meal where stories and good times are shared at the table. Everyone who comes to Jesus’ banquet table is “just right” and has something to offer because each of us is special in some wonderful and often unexpected way. In our first reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians we hear Paul make this point. He lists different spiritual gifts we receive “from the same God — from the same Spirit.” Some of

January 15, 2010

The Anchor

Wine, not vinegar

It’s through Jesus that miracles happen to us. Those who feel themselves to be nothing more than a jar of water can be turned by Jesus into a brim-filled, glass of fine wine, rich and flavorful with long-lasting taste and vibrancy to be shared with others. All we need to do is understand we are made in the image and likeness of God — that we are God’s beloved — and we become the wine Christ needs at his supper. The first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah says it clearly. We are not “desolate and forsaken” jars of water. We are God’s “delight.” We are all God’s bottles of wine not to be stored in cool cellars for fear that we are not yet good enough. No, we are to be placed on the table where the

these are gifts of wisdom and don’t recognize our gifts and healing. Some involve courimportance. We might feel age needed for mighty deeds. unworthy and see ourselves Together we are to share and as a glass of water lacking use those gifts to serve the taste and attractiveness. We Lord and each other. are the ones to whom the In a way, everyone at the table is a different and special vintage Homily of the Week wine from God’s Second Sunday extensive wine cellar in Ordinary Time with its many rooms. Each of us is imporBy Deacon tant and has a purpose. David Pierce We sparkle in the light regardless of how long on the shelf — old or young. All it takes is for the Gospel applies. cork to be popped and for us Jesus is at a wedding in to pour out and fill a heavenly Cana with his mother and glass God lifts, swirls around, disciples. The wine has run admires, and then offers up short. Jesus says to the servto reveal the aroma and rich ers, “Fill the jars with water,” Body of Christ. and they are filled to the brim But some of us don’t unbecause Mary instructed, “Do derstand how special we are whatever he tells you.” The in the eyes of God and others headwaiter tastes. The water — especially those who love became wine. Jesus performs us. We are the ones who a miracle.

many gifts we have received from the Holy Spirit can be served and shared. Luke says Jesus began all his signs at Cana in Galilee where he “revealed his glory.” Jesus now asks each and every one of us: “When will you reveal yours?” Remember: wine can turn to vinegar when improperly stored for too long. Fortunately, Jesus judges when we are “just right.” That’s when we do whatever he tells us, and then he pops our corks. So, being “right and proper,” let’s pour and share our gifts with others now, not later. Vinegar is for French fries — not for our Lord. Deacon David Pierce is at St. John the Evangelist in Pocasset. He and his wife, Diane, live in Sandwich. He works for the Commonwealth’s Division of Marine Fisheries in Boston.

Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Jan. 16, 1Sm 9:1-4,17-19;10:1; Ps 21:2-7; Mk 2:13-17. Sun. Jan. 17, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Is 62:1-5; Ps 96:1-3,7-10; Jn 2:111. Mon. Jan. 18, 1Sm 15:16-23; Ps 50:8-9,16-17,21,23; Mk 2:18-22. Tues. Jan. 19, 1Sm 16:1-13; Ps 89:20-22,27-28; Mk 2:23-28. Wed. Jan. 20, 1Sm 17:32-33,37,40-51; Ps 144:1b,2,9-10; Mk 3:1-6. Thur. Jan. 21, 1Sm 18:6-9,19;19:1-7; Ps 56:2-3,9-13; Mk 3:7-12. Fri. Jan. 22, 1Sm 24:3-21; Ps 57:2-4,6,11; Mk 3:13-19.


he late Richard Cardinal Cushing of Boston may or may not have described the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. as “our luxury gift to Mother” — a story I heard decades ago — but there’s no doubt that the Shrine is a statement. When it was dedicated a half-century ago, it bespoke a self-confident Catholicism, at home in America and proud to display its Marian piety and its considerable resources. Today, a building that has aged remarkably well and improved in the process makes two important theological statements that are worth pondering on this golden anniversary. The first statement was unmistakably clear the day the Shrine opened to the public. Its interior was unfinished, save

The shrine at 50

ever, is not so much a warning for one colossal icon — the as a reminder: all true devotion great apse mosaic of Christ to Mary points us to her Son, come in judgment, which rivets the eye from the moment as Our Lady herself did in her last words in the Gospels — the pilgrim enters the nave. That image of a stern, majestic “Do whatever he tells you….” Christ was an appropriate “fit” And by pointing us to her Son, who is both Son of God and for a Romanesque-Byzantine Son of Mary, Our Lady points structure; but it was also a challenge to the saccharine Jesus being peddled by preachers of the “power of positive thinking” in 1959. This Christ makes you think, all right — about By George Weigel the serious business of life, about rendering an account of one’s stewardship one day, about the us, through the Incarnation, awe-inspiring majesty of Jesus into the second great mystery of Christian faith: the mystery Christ, king of the universe. of the most Holy Trinity. The Some found it shocking in 1959; others find it startling to- royal road to the great truths day. The icon’s most important of Christianity begins with Mary’s “yes” to Gabriel’s untheological statement, how-

The Catholic Difference

expected visit. The Shrine makes its second important Marian theological statement in a more recent addition to its decoration: the great sculpture of the “universal call to holiness” which, spanning the length of the basilica’s back wall, depicts a rich panorama of modes of Christian life and sanctity. The universal call to holiness was one of the great themes of the Second Vatican Council’s “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church”: no matter what their station in life or their state of life in the Church, all the baptized are called to be saints — for becoming a saint is the fulfillment of our human and Christian destiny. Looking at the cosmic Christ in judgment, we are reminded of the source of sanctity in the Church; looking at holiness exemplified in the Body of Christ as we leave the basilica, we’re reminded of the extraordinary range of God’s redeeming and sanctifying grace as it enlivens disciples. And the Marian angle here? Mary is the first disciple, because her fiat, her “yes” to the divine plan, sets the pattern of all Christian discipleship. As John Paul II, borrowing from Hans Us von Balthasar, said in

1987, there are many “profiles” of the Christian life in the New Testament: the Petrine profile sets the pattern for the Church of authority and jurisdiction, as the Pauline profile does for the Church of proclamation and evangelization and the Johannine profile does for the Church of contemplation. The Marian profile, however, is most basic: for everything else in the Church — authority, proclamation, contemplation — exists to serve the deepening of discipleship and the call to holiness that comes from conversion to Christ. And the primordial profile of the Christian disciple’s life is set by two paradigmatic expressions of Mary’s discipleship: the articulated fiat of the Annunciation, and the silent fiat at the foot of the cross. The Shrine is the largest Catholic structure in the western hemisphere. More importantly, though, it provides one of the Americas’ richest experiences of Catholicism, aesthetically, liturgically and musically — a catechism in stone, mosaic, and glass, and a noble act of homage to the patroness of the United States. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

January 15, 2010

To give or not to give? That is the question

slow learner. Sunday 10 January 2010 — I opened the door one night at home in Old Dighton Village to find a man asking for money. — on this date in 1776 Thomas Paine published his 50page pamphlet, “Common Sense” Reflections of a hat to do when a beggar Parish Priest comes knocking on By Father Tim the door is something Goldrick they don’t teach you in the seminary. Unwary clergy tend to be easy I invited the man into the rectargets for scam artists. After tory office. It was a mistake. all, by both temperament and This was back in the days when religious conviction, we are having an office in the residedicated to helping people. dence was de rigueur. I thought How to react appropriately nothing of the fact that I was when approached by a panhanalone in the building. The man dler is something one has to sat down and gave it his best learn from experience. I was a



The Anchor

The Ship’s Log

shot. I let him finish, and then remarked that I didn’t believe a word of it. I went so far as to say that it was the most bizarre hard-luck story I had ever heard in my life. “You don’t like that story?” he asked. “OK. I’ll make up another one.” His second story was much better. I gave him an “A” for imagination. I also gave him 10 bucks. That was another mistake. Off he went with a smile on his face and 10 dollars in his pocket. Who knows what he did with the money? In another parish, a woman would show up every week asking for money to buy Pampers

Cultural double talk about breast cancer


Komen for the Cure and other omen are keenly cancer fund-raising businesses aware that breast have made no efforts to reduce cancer rates are rising and that breast cancer rates by issuthe insidious disease has had a devastating impact on too many ing nationwide warnings to loved ones to ignore. What they women.” What could be the reason may not be aware of is that our behind the negligence to report research institutes continue to such critical information, and overlook key evidence, leaving what could be the reason that them ill-informed about poswomen aren’t angry about it? sible risks. One important researcher has made an effort to reverse herself, although her words seem to have been spoken in a vacuum. Dr. Louise By Genevieve Kineke Brinton, who was the chief organizer of the 2003 National Cancer Is it possible that everyone Institute workshop, assured affected accepts the premise women at the time that “aborthat oral contraceptives and tion is not associated with abortion are non-negotiable elincreased breast cancer risk.” ements of “reproductive” life? That was then; this is now. Is it possible that our culture In a significant reversal, has agreed to stage a collective Brinton has just admitted that end-run around the data for the both abortion and oral consake of absolute sexual license? traceptives have an enormous One sees a similar sleight impact on breast cancer rates, of hand with the “safe sex” including the deadly form campaign that stops short called “triple-negative” breast cancer (TNBC). In fact, she has of suggesting that the only acknowledged the credibility of guaranteed way of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases is an April 2009 study, which retotal sexual abstinence. Despite veals that abortion can raise the the fact that the human papilrisk by 40 percent while oral loma virus (HPV) is directly contraceptives can increase the linked to cervical cancer and odds by between 270-320 percent depending on the woman’s that HIV/AIDS is gravely debilitating, information handed age. Where is the outcry? to adolescents leads them to The newest study out of experiment with potential lethal the Fred Hutchinson Cancer activities. Research Center is only the There is a wealth of talk most recent of many which about women’s rights and the were similarly ignored. Karen overwhelming desire that our Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, children succeed in life. And noted that “the NCI, the Ameri- yet, concerning each, our actions belie our words. American Cancer Society, Susan G.

The Feminine Genius

can tax dollars fund programs that mislead children about the dangers of sexual activities and mislead women in particular about the consequences of promiscuity. Furthermore, those who insist on focusing on the contra-indications attached to sexual experimentation and homosexual activity are labeled judgmental bigots. Name-calling may marginalize the voices that highlight the actual data, but it won’t change the death toll — other than to raise it. Will 2010 be the year when those who are tired of being haunted by chronic illness and death say, “Enough.” Women and children cannot thrive when they are utilitarian pawns in a deadly game of “Everybody’s Doing It.” Currently, there is more than enough proof that sexual promiscuity is grievously unhealthy. The medical community may be playing loose with the statistics, but the general public hasn’t held them accountable. Women in particular continue to pay the price in several ways — there are the cancers, there is the cycle of abandonment that intimacy without commitment brings with it, and there is the heartache of lost and confused children. If you’re still looking for a New Year’s Resolution, perhaps spreading the word about this would be a good place to begin. Mrs. Kineke is the author of “The Authentic Catholic Woman” (Servant Books). She can be found online at www.

for her baby. She came to the door so often that I went out to BJ’s and bought a huge crate of Pampers. The checkout clerk looked at me strangely, wondering what in the world a priest wanted with a crate of Pampers. She took my money, though, and off I went with the Pampers in the back of my truck. The next time the woman came to the door, I gave her what she asked for — a package of Pampers. She was so discombobulated that she left without the Pampers. She never returned. Once, a man came to the door saying that he needed money. He recounted how he had earlier in the night quite a bit of money in his pocket, but that a police cruiser had pulled up next to him as he was walking down the street minding his own business. According to him, the officers asked how much money he had in his pocket. He answered that he had about a hundred dollars. Then, he said, the officers took his money away from him, saying he must have stolen it. Thus, he had no money and needed some from me. It was, of course, a lie, but I believed it. The officers had to be immediately reported to their superiors. At my mention of telephoning the police, the swindler fled. It was then I saw a knife in his hand. That was a narrow escape. The first rule of those who deal with professional beggars is simple: never give money. If your do, you are probably feeding an addiction. Another rule is to get the facts. See the cutoff notice from the oil or electricity company. Visit the household, if possible, and check out the situation with your own eyes. Still another rule of thumb

is check if other systems are in place to handle the presenting issues or perhaps already have. There are professional beggars who will visit one church after another. A third rule is to be clear about the extent and limitations of the act of charity. Never act alone. Always have at least one witness present, if possible. The sad reality is that many who are in genuine need may be reluctant to express that need. They are often embarrassed. If a person is truly in need, it takes great courage and humility to say that aloud. This means that you have to keep a sharp eye out for possible problematic situations. It helps if you have others who are also alert to what is going on in the neighborhood. You have to be very, very discreet in your inquiries. You have to be very sensitive to the feelings of the needy person. Has a family lost all means of support through unemployment? Are the children looking shabby or ill fed? Is the homestead up for sale, but unadvertised so as not to humiliate the seller? Is there a foreclosure sign on the front lawn? Is there serious illness and astronomical medical bills? These are not the best of times. I don’t want to be a sucker, but, on the other hand, I do want to give the benefit of the doubt. If a person says that he or she is destitute and hungry, my first impulse is to believe it. To give, or not to give; that is the question. There is no standardized answer, just common sense. Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.


The Anchor

From U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, some New Year’s resolutions FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan (CNS) — The Marines at this base like to say that every day is Groundhog Day, referring to the Bill Murray comedy in which a TV weatherman awakens each morning to find he is reliving the same day of his life over and over again. But given the fact that these Marines are located in Afghanistan’s Taliban-plagued Helmand province, every day holds danger and has the potential for disaster. So many of their New Year’s resolutions concerned those they value most — family members at home. Several Catholic members of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, shared their resolutions with Catholic News Service. Gunnery Sgt. Mike Brown of Jacksonville, Fla., said his current deployment has helped him come to a special resolution for 2010. “I want to make every second count with my family,” he said, referring to wife, Melanie, and children Dru, 10, and Aaliyah, five. Lance Cpl. Daniel Triebell, who attends Our Lady of Grace Church when he is home in Melbourne, Fla., said his resolution was simple: “Just to stay out of trouble, to keep going on the right path.” Staff Sgt. Savier Roman said his resolution was to start a family. “I just got married to my wife, Theresa, before this deployment,” said the member of St. Catherine Parish in Sebring, Fla. “We want

to try to have kids after I return in June, or shortly after.” “I just want to go home to Long Island,” said Pfc. Matthew McArdle, of St. John the Evangelist Church in Riverhead, N.Y. Now a motor transport mechanic at Geronimo, he said he also hopes to “get promoted to lance corporal.” Retired Gunnery Sgt. Jerome Joseph, who advises the Marines as a civilian tactical safety specialist at Geronimo, is older than the other 20-something Marines, and his New Year’s resolutions showed some of the wisdom of age. Joseph is from the U.S. Virgin Islands; he and his family now attend St. Ann’s Church in Kaneohe, Hawaii, as well as Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in nearby Ewa Beach. “For this year I’d like to show more compassion for people, yet be stern, strong in my job and in my life,” he said. “I want to be more understanding with my children and, of course, get closer to Christ. When things get really frustrating and tense you can forget about Christ, and that’s when you need him the most,” he said. He reflected that a life of faith is especially important for those who regularly put their lives on the line. “When you complete your task you’re fortunate to be alive and with God,” he said. “God’s always with us,” he added. “Are we with God?”

January 15, 2010

Making good on a promise B y Michael Pare A nchor Correspondent

“Prayer works,” said Charlie. “If God thinks you deserve something, He will give it to you. NEW BEDFORD — Thelma Carpenter has Sometimes he may not think the time is just kept her promise. It was a promise she made right. But God always listens to everybody. to God, and to herself, too. That’s what I believe.” It was a simple promise. When she retired, The Carpenters raised four children. When she promised, she would be sure to devote the kids were starting to get older, Thelma demore time to her Church, to doing for others. cided to pursue a childhood dream. Truth be told, it was not going to be a stretch “I always wanted to be a nurse, even when for her to keep such a promise. As an LPN at I was a little girl,” she said. St. Luke’s Hospital for 31 years, helping othHer career as a nurse served her well. Evers was what she did best. erything about it made sense. It was what she So in 2003, when Carpenter retired, her was meant to do. And through all those years, parish became the beneficiary of much of the it brought her closer to her faith. There were time she was suddenly afforded. Certainly, so many times to lean on God. there was more time for family matters, es“You see a lot of things as a nurse,” she pecially the grandchilsaid. “And so my faith dren and great-grandgrew.” children, and for her Maybe that’s why beloved husband of 51 the promise she made years, Charlie. never faded, never got But her parish and itself lost in the busithe people in it were ness of life. It remained to benefit as well. Afimportant to her. She ter all, she had made a always knew that she promise. would keep it. So that is just what After St. Anne’s, the Carpenter does now at Carpenters became paOur Lady of Guadalrishioners at St. James upe at St. James Parin 2002. Thelma began ish. She spearheads making good on her the Booster Club, promise. And when serves as a lector, is a she officially retired member of the Parish in 2003, she was ready Council, and regularly to serve her parish. Invisits the sick as an exstead of caring for the traordinary minister of sick at the hospital, the holy Communion. she would be bringing Why does she do them holy Commuit? Anchor person of the week — Thelma nion. “It give me a warm Carpenter, second from left, with friends and Red And when the parfeeling … helping oth- Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia ishes became one, and ers,” she said. “It was Our Lady of Guadalupe how I was brought up. at St. James emerged, You do for others.” Carpenter found there was only more to be Carpenter is a New Bedford native, the done. daughter of devoted French Catholics, she Father Richard Wilson, pastor at Our Lady said. She attended weekly Mass with her fam- of Guadalupe at St. James, describes Carpenily and was schooled at St. Anne’s Elemen- ter as one of those people who “puts her nose tary and St. Anthony’s High School. to the grindstone and gets the job done.” And “I was born at St. Anne’s Parish and I was even more than that, he said, there is the way there until it closed,” she said. she goes about her work. Charlie is a New Jersey native. In Thelma, “She has a wonderful presence,” he said. he found a soul mate. Not raised as a Cath- “She really reaches out to people and looks olic, Charlie converted a half-century ago. for the positives in people.” They are indeed, a couple devout in their Father Wilson is also struck by Carpenter’s faith. They are one of those couples that just commitment to her role as special minister of seem like they were meant for one anther, the holy Communion. kind that have the uncanny ability to finish “Thelma really shows her belief in the Euthe other’s sentence — to know just what the charist and its importance,” he said. other is thinking. To Carpenter, bringing the Eucharist to othCharlie was a tool cutter, surgical tools his ers is a special privilege. It is that first-hand specialty. opportunity to live her faith. “He would make the tools and I would use “I find bringing holy Communion to the them at work,” said Thelma. sick to be just so rewarding,” she said. “At Yes, two people just made for one another. least, through me, they can remain involved “There are two things in life that I like with the parish. I talk to them and bring along to do,” said Charlie. “I like to go to church the parish bulletin. It brings me the satisfacwith my wife and I like to take her out for tion deep inside of being closer to God.” lunch.” And it allows her to keep making good on They agree that their faith has strength- that promise. ened their bond and that God has been there To nominate a person, send an email mesfor them. They see prayer as an integral com- sage to FatherRogerLandry@AnchorNews. ponent of their faith. org.


The Anchor

January 15, 2010

Roses bloom for Our Lady in December Taunton couple believes flowers are miraculous By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff TAUNTON — Donald Vasconcellos has always had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother. He prays the rosary every morning, is a daily communicant, and every spring he meticulously plants a beautiful bed of flowers around the statue of Our Lady that stands guard outside and protects his Thomas Street home, including two sprawling rosebushes on either side. “I take care of her, and she takes care of me,” Vasconcellos said. With the harsh New England winters, though, he’s become accustomed to seeing his handiwork wilt away in the fall and disappear with the first frost — so it took him by surprise last month when he walked onto his snow-covered lawn and saw bright red roses in full bloom on either side of Our Lady’s statue. “It was cold and I went out there and I said I don’t believe this,” Vasconcellos said. “I’d say there were about 15 flowers — mature roses. The next day I looked and they were still there. I guess a couple of days later I checked the thermometer and with the wind chill it must have been about three degrees.” What’s more curious — and maybe even a little miraculous — is the flowers first appeared on De-

cember 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. “I said to myself it has to be because of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception,” said Vasconcellos, a

than 20 years. Seems like anything I plant there, it grows.” Perhaps just as momentous about the flowers’ mysterious appearance on December 8 is that

bring to the local bishop as proof of Our Lady’s apparition. But when Juan Diego opened his cloak before the bishop to reveal the unseasonably in-bloom roses, they were

winter wonder land — Despite the frigid December temperatures, the rosebushes flanking the statue of the Blessed Mother outside of Donald Vasconcellos’ Taunton home were miraculously in full bloom (see inset) on the feast days of the Immaculate Conception and St. Juan Diego last month. (Photos courtesy of Donald Vasconcellos)

faithful parishioner and extraordinary minister of holy Communion at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Taunton. “Those rose bushes I originally had planted under my picture window and they were just about dead. I transplanted them next to the Blessed Mother and they’ve grown there for more

the following day is the feast of St. Juan Diego. It was Juan Diego to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico and whose cloak — or tilma — was used to gather a similar bunch of non-native roses miraculously growing in early December on the top of a barren mountain to

treated to a more amazing miracle: the iconic image of Our Lady of Guadalupe herself imprinted on the tilma that now hangs in the Mexican basilica built in her honor. While the appearance of 15 mature flowers on his rose bush doesn’t rise to the level of that miracle, it’s something Vasconcellos can’t read-

ily explain, either. “Around here you only get roses to grow a couple of times a year,” he said. “I think it’s a miracle. Nobody is going to change my mind.” “We already had a frost, too,” added his wife, Barbara. “They stayed there for more than a week. We even had another snow storm and they were still there.” Donald gets misty-eyed talking about his love and devotion for the Blessed Mother, stressing that it’s his faith in her that’s gotten him through some difficult times. Most recently, when his sevenyear-old grandson and namesake Donald was diagnosed with leukemia four years ago, he began praying in earnest everyday to Our Lady for his speedy recovery. “Now he’s in remission and he’s off all his medications and he’s doing wonderful,” Barbara said. “He’s a student at St. Mary’s School here in Taunton,” his proud grandfather boasted. Donald and Barbara Vasconcellos believe everything happens for a reason, and maybe the roses were just a small sign or gesture from Our Lady to assure them that she’s still there — even during the cold winter months — watching over them. “You’ve got to have faith and you have to be devoted,” Donald said.


The Anchor

January 15, 2010

Our readers respond

Non-negotiable truths In your usual, thoughtful way, your December 4 editorial on the “Manhattan Declaration” is a message of hope and encouragement to those who work for the Pro-Life and family cause. This is an amazing document which calls upon “Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical Christians” to “join them in defending our fundamental truths.” It is signed by scores of Catholic prelates, clergy and lay people and focuses on the sanctity of life, the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife and the rights of conscience and religious liberty. One part of the document really stuck out to me: “Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” The document calls into focus our Church’s long held teaching of the communion of saints, that we here on earth are the Church militant in union with those in the Church triumphant (heaven) and penitent (purgatory). We in life are called to speak out and defend the truths of our faith, not with belligerence or anger, but with peaceful, fearless persistence. We are surrounded with videos, movies, music, and people that aggressively indoctrinate against these truths, and it is our responsibility to stand firm in defeating them. If we are Catholic, if we are truly believing members of the Church militant, there is no other choice. I’d encourage all Anchor readers to think of these issues when casting their next vote. Patricia Stebbins, president Cape Cod Family Life Alliance

Some questions still need answers Your editorial of December 11 was right on. You correctly raised a number of questions that still need answers from the institutional Church. And you do a good job of showing some understanding of the causes of what happened but you provide very few answers. The publication “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” ordered by the bishops in 2002 raised a number of steps that must be followed, but a number of bishops still don’t follow them. Cardinal George in Chicago was outrageously housing and harboring an alleged pedophile priest at his residence just last year. Cardinal Mahoney in Los Angeles still defies court orders to turn over thousands of documents in his possession relating to accused pedophile priests. The John Jay College Study in 2004 showed that a number of bishops withheld information from the investigators. You correctly give praise to Archbishop Martin of Dublin, but then you point out that his predecessor bishop fought in the courts to prevent Martin from disclosing their files relating to the scandal in the archdiocese of Dublin. All of these examples show that the bishops are not accountable to anyone. Even now, in 2010, questions are still being asked on the cause of the crisis. Accountability is the biggest answer, yet there is still no accountability for bishops in the Roman Catholic Church. The hierarchy has protected the institutional Church at any cost, even the safety of little children. You have done a good job of raising issues and causes and of noting that the Church must “regain the trust necessary to carry out her mission.” Now, you must periodically revisit those issues and questions and keep the pressure on the Church to be accountable for its actions and inactions or we will be reviewing yet another blockbuster report on abuses in the Church in the year 2015, and we will be wondering why and how it happened. Edward J. Scahill Jr. Mashpee

taking a giant leap — Matthew Goode and Amy Adams star in a scene from the movie “Leap Year.” For a brief review of this film, see CNS Movie Capsules below. (CNS photo/Universal)

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. “Daybreakers” (Lionsgate) This potentially intriguing, but excessively violent tale, set in a futuristic world where a mysterious plague has transformed the vast majority of the population into vampires, and where the blood supply drawn from the few remaining mortals is rapidly dwindling, follows the efforts of a conscientious undead researcher (Ethan Hawke) to develop a viable substitute, his conflict with the greedy chief (Sam Neill) of the conglomerate sponsoring his work and his eventual partnership with two fugitive humans (Willem Dafoe and Claudia Karvan) who may have discovered an alternative solution to the crisis. Co-writers and directors Peter and Michael Spierig effectively conjure a society where blood-suckers are the norm and use it to make satiric points about corporate excess and environmental irresponsibility, but the intermittently gory proceedings move toward a climactic scene of orgiastic bloodletting. Graphic gruesome violence, including decapitation, dismemberment and exploding bodies; upper female nudity; at least three uses of profanity; and some rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. “Leap Year” (Universal/Spyglass) Likable romantic comedy in which a controlling Boston real

estate consultant (Amy Adams) follows her commitment-shy livein boyfriend (Adam Scott) to Ireland, where he’s attending a cardiologists’ convention and where she hopes to take advantage of a national tradition allowing women to propose on Leap Day, but bad weather derails her plans, forcing her to rely on a laidback rural innkeeper (Matthew Goode) to get her to Dublin in time. Though the background details are closer to 1952’s “The Quiet Man” than to the post-Celtic Tiger contemporary reality, the central oppositesattract relationship in director Anand Tucker’s Hibernian idyll is old-fashioned in the best sense, with physical restraint allowing room for a dexterously acted, if somewhat formulaic, portrayal of deepening emotional engagement, and helping to make this — despite the elements described below — probably acceptable for older teens. Implied cohabitation, some mildly sexual humor, at least two uses of profanity and one of the S-word, and a few crass terms. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable

for children. “Youth in Revolt” (Dimension) Sometimes witty but consistently sex-focused coming-of-age comedy about a lonely California teen (Michael Cera) whose sophisticated cultural tastes make him a fish out of water in his divorced parents’ (Jean Smart and Steve Buscemi) lowbrow world, and his obsessive love for a likeminded girl (Portia Doubleday) he meets on vacation at a trailer park. Director Miguel Arteta’s adaptation of “Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp” — the first in C.D. Payne’s series of novels about the titular adolescent — sees Cera developing a suave but amoral alter ego willing to cause mayhem to help his timid original reunite with, and lose his burdensome virginity to, the object of his desire. Explicit animated images of intercourse, nongraphic premarital (and probably underage) sexual activity, drug use, at least one profanity, much sexual humor and considerable rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O v morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, January 17 at 11:00 a.m. Celebrant is Father Andrew Johnson, OCSO, in residence at St. Michael Parish, Fall River

Pro-Lifers prepare for Washington trek continued from page one

The pilgrims will then process to the National Mall for a rally and the beginning of the march. “The students will get a night tour of D.C. that evening, followed by dinner and a closing prayer service,” added Desrosiers. The following day, all will attend a Mass celebrated by Bishop Coleman at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in D.C. The group will then head back north following the Mass. “This is always exciting to have the students, parents, volunteers and clergy accompany us each year,” said Desrosiers. Fifty more pilgrims will be making the journey from St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet. Pastor, Msgr. Gerard P. O’Connor told The Anchor that the bus filled very quickly. “Of the 50, 16 are youth and 34 are adults,” he said. “The youngest pilgrim is 13 and the oldest is 94. There is much excitement about this trip. The entire group is from the parish, and I find their commitment to the Pro-Life movement very inspiring.” Msgr. O’Connor said that 49 of the 50 attendees are going for the first time, including himself. “I’m pleased that there is a nice mix of youth and adults going,” he added. “The youth come across the abortion issue often in school discussions and other times. They are not afraid to witness to their Catholic faith in Washington. I pray it stays with them for life, and I believe it will.” The trip will begin with a Mass at St. Francis on January 21 and from there will head to the capital, where they will attend a vigil at the White House that evening. On march day, the group will attend Mass at its hotel, celebrated by Msgr. O’Connor. Next is the march itself, and afterward, the long bus ride home, returning to Acushnet late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Kevin Ward and Rich Zopatti, both Knights of Columbus, have organized another bus trip under the sponsorship of the newlyformed Cape Cod Bus For Life, Inc. Ward is president and Zopatti, vice president. The pair felt the need to have an adult presence at the march in addition to the many youth who attend yearly. This bus trip also filled very quickly. “We had 57 people reserve a spot on the bus by November 1,” Ward said. “Father Arnie Medeiros started the trip last year, and he was also instrumental in this one as well. We’ve received financial backing from him, as well as several Knights of Columbus councils in the area. Marian Desrosiers and the Pro-


The Anchor

January 15, 2010

Life Apostolate have also been very helpful in this endeavor.” The group will stay at the Hyatt Regency in D.C., where the National Pro-Life Movement is set up. “We’ll be able to peruse their displays and such,” said Ward. “We’re also very blessed to have Father Ronnie Floyd attend with us as well as Sacred Hearts Father Matt Shanley,” said Ward. “We hope to impact politicians about abortion issues. People seem to have a real disconnect that abortion is murder. Hopefully our presence at the march can help to open eyes, minds and hearts. Abortion is a horror show. It’s a shame all the children we lose to abortion.” Zopatti told The Anchor the group has been invited to the Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral to be celebrated by Bishop Coleman. “This trip is meant to put us all in a retreat/pilgrimage mode,” he said. “We will pray the rosary and other prayers on the trip down and back. We also plan on attending the Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington. It’s amazing to see so many Catholics worshiping in one place.” Zopatti added, “I’m looking forward to the trip. With the health care debate brewing, it’s important to go down there and show that registered voters care about abortion.”

Two dozen U.S. bishops could retire for age reasons in 2010 By Nancy Frazier O’Brien Catholic News Service WASHINGTON — Up to 24 U.S. bishops, including two cardinals, could retire because of age this year. There are 11 active U.S. bishops, including one cardinal, who have already turned 75. Thirteen more will celebrate their 75th birthday in 2010. At age 75 bishops are requested to submit their resignation to the pope. Cardinal Bernard F. Law, archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome and a cardinal since 1985, turned 75 Nov. 4, 2006. A former bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo., he was archbishop of Boston from 1984 until his resignation from that post in 2002 in the wake of controversy over his handling of cases of clergy sex abuse there. He was named to his Rome post in 2004. Turning 75 on April 19 this year is Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia. Born in Los Angeles, he was ordained an archbishop in 1985 while serving as head of the school that educates future Vatican diplomats. He returned to the United States in 1994 to become archbishop of St. Louis, holding that post until his appointment as archbishop of Philadelphia in 2003. He was elevated to the College of Cardi-

pilgrimage / tour to

“The shrines of italy”

Spiritual Director: Fr. Joseph P. McDermott, Pastor Immaculate Conception Church 122 Canton Street, Stoughton, MA 02072

nals that same year. Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessor Pope John Paul II, has often asked cardinals to stay on the job after they reached the age of 75. Even when a cardinal retires in his 70s, he remains an active member of the College of Cardinals, eligible to enter a conclave and vote for a new pope, until age 80. The 10 other active U.S. bishops who are already 75 and the dates of their 75th birthday are: — Bishop Manuel Batakian of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in New York for Armenian Catholics; Nov. 5, 2004. — Bishop William L. Higi of Lafayette, Ind.; Aug. 29, 2008. — Bishop Tomas A. Camacho of Chalan Kanoa, Northern Marianas; Sept. 18, 2008. — Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Maginnis of Philadelphia; Dec. 22, 2008. — Bishop Edmond Carmody of Corpus Christi, Texas, Jan. 12, 2009. — Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett of Seattle, Jan. 17, 2009. — Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., March 2, 2009. — Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Hermann of St. Louis, Aug. 12, 2009. — Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran of Oklahoma City, Aug.

31, 2009. — Auxiliary Bishop Guy Sansaricq of Brooklyn, N.Y., Oct. 6, 2009. In addition to Cardinal Rigali, the 12 currently active bishops who will turn 75 in 2010 and their birthdays are: — Auxiliary Bishop Peter A. Rosazza of Hartford, Conn., February 13. — Auxiliary Bishop Emilio S. Allue of Boston, February 18. — Bishop J. Kevin Boland of Savannah, Ga., April 25. — Bishop John M. Smith of Trenton, N.J., June 23. — Bishop Carlos A. Sevilla of Yakima, Wash., August 9. — Bishop John B. McCormack of Manchester, N.H., August 12. — Bishop Joseph V. Adamec of Altoona-Johnstown, Aug. 13. — Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., September 6. — Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba of Milwaukee, September 11. — Bishop Paul A. Zipfel of Bismarck, N.D., September 22. — Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger of Evansville, Ind., October 20. — Archbishop John C. Favalora of Miami, December 5.

My Father’s House P.O. Box 22, 39 North Moodus Rd. Moodus, CT 06469 . 860-873-1581 Website: Email:

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Blessed André Bessette made several visits to Fall River Diocese continued from page one

And the small-framed religious Brother, who was born into poverty, orphaned, remained sickly all of his life, and for 40 years was relegated to being the doorman at Notre Dame College in Montreal, is en route to sainthood. A miracle needed for his canonization has been recently recognized by Pope Benedict XVI. Exiting the station in Fall River, Brother André, carrying his usual baggage, a small, well-worn valise shown in vintage photographs, walked uphill to Fall River’s main street and then to the home of the Hebert Family on South Main Street, where he was invited to stay. “I was just a kid doing odd jobs at the Hebert Funeral Home the family ran and I recall Brother André coming to stay with the Heberts,” said Lucien J. Dion of Fall River, who later operated the funeral home. “Brother André at the time was at the tail end of his ministry and everyone would see he was a saint and many came to the Heberts to welcome him and ask for his prayers,” Dion, who is 89, recalled. “While there, and I can’t recall for how long, he attended Mass at St. Anne’s Church, just a block away. I don’t remember if it was his first visit or not,” Dion added. The visit is supported by a document furnished many years ago from the Franco-American Genealogical Society in Woonsocket,” reported Father Marc H. Bergeron,

pastor. “Blessed André remained in Fall River visiting relatives and benefactors, and I recall he also had made a visit to New Bedford as well,” Father Bergeron told The Anchor. “Unfortunately, I’m having trouble finding the old document.” He also visited parishioners at Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish in the city’s Flint Section. “I was 10 years old when Brother André came to visit with my grandfather, Napoleon Louis Bessette on Keeley Street on a Sunday afternoon in 1935,” said Madeleine (Latessa) St. Pierre of Fall River. “He and my grandfather were cousins, but very close, and they were short men and even looked very much alike,” she recalled. “They spoke only French, no English at all.” “Brother André came in a big black car from Connecticut, where, as a young man he worked in the mills,” she said. “He was very frail and would die a couple of years later. Because it was an afternoon visit — in the spring or fall because he wore a light black coat — we didn’t attend any Mass together.” She said that in later years she visited the Oratory in Montreal where Brother André is entombed, “and saw his heart in a gold urn.” Roland Masse, sexton at Notre Dame Parish, recalled hearing that his uncle, Joseph Masse, a pharmacist on Brightman Street, and who had cancer, “received a visit

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in 1924 from Brother Bessette who prayed over him and anointed him with St. Joseph Oil. ” Whether the man born Alfred Bessette, who took the religious name André after his parish priest, had, as a teen, come earlier to find his fortune in southeastern Massachusetts following the flow of French-Canadian emigrants — including relatives, is unknown. “I never heard any story that Brother André ever had worked

ready to roll — Brother André with suitcase in hand. (Photo courtesy of saint-joseph. org)

in Fall River or lived here when he was young,” St. Pierre told The Anchor. What is known is that hoping to find work fitting his sickly and frail constitution, Alfred at age 18 took the train to New England in October 1963. He sought work in New England’s cotton mills — struggling to fulfill Union Army orders as it fought the Civil War — as well as jobs on farms, laboring as a tinsmith, a baker, shoemaker and coachman. Etienne Catta, whose 1965 biography of Brother André, “Le Frère André et L’Oratio Saint-Joseph Du Mont,” reported that “whenever he (Brother André) would be asked about it (his jobs in the U.S.), he would change the subject.” “The U.S. was a world bubbling with opportunity for the young man who would become Brother André,” Catta wrote. Fall River, the “Spindle City,” was in the heyday of its cotton empire and drew hundreds of thousands of Canadians who fled poverty. It is known that Alfred labored as a factory hand in Moosup, Putnam, and Hartford in Connecticut; in Phenix, R.I.; as well as in a mill in North Easton, but what Easton mill and during what time frame remain mysteries. What’s certain is that as an unskilled mill hand, working in the mills typically from 6 a.m., to 6 p.m., every day except Sundays,

January 15, 2010 and mandated to work overtime two days a week, he would have earned less than $1 a day. As a single man he would have to live with a family in one of the “triple deckers” houses operated by the mill owners. “An almost familial instinct quickly drew the Canadians together,” wrote Catta. “They lived together in their own neighborhood, and French was their only language, jealously preserved.” Time had no meaning to such workers. Alfred, like his colleagues, could be summoned to work at any hour by a “tapper” who traditionally used a long pole to knock at the window of the worker’s flat. “Working in the mills tested Brother André’s strength,” Catta contends. After looking for suitable work for four years, he returned to Sutton in Canada in 1867, where his sister Leocadie and his brother Claude lived. It was all the family he had. He was born Aug. 9, 1845 in the parish of Mont Saint Gregoire in lower Canada, the ninth of 13 children. He was so sickly, his parents baptized him themselves the next day. His father Isaac was killed in 1855 when a tree he was cutting fell on him. His mother Clothilde made sure the children had a Christian education and gave them the traditional veneration of the Holy Family before she succumbed to tuberculosis in 1857. Taken in by a maternal aunt at the age of 12, young Alfred was five-foot, five-inches tall. He suffered from a chronic stomach ailment that kept him out of school and often without work. He was unable to read, but he was always prayerful. Despite his infirmities he wore a leather belt studded with iron points around his waist. He would pray intensely, and for long periods at a time he could be found with his arms stretched out, in front of a crucifix, at church, in his room, or in a barn. Having returned to Sutton, he found work doing chores for room and board in two parishes. Those who noted his piety mentioned it to Father André Provencal, the curé at the local parish. When asked about his desire to enter the religious life, Alfred pleaded he was too ignorant. In presenting him to the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal, Father Provencal wrote “I am sending you a saint.” Alfred, however, was initially refused entrance to the College Notre Dame in Montreal, run by the Congregation, because of his poor health. But Archbishop Ignace Bourget of Montreal intervened and in 1872 Alfred was accepted, taking the name André. He made his final vows on Feb. 2, 1874, at the age of 28. He was given the task of porter

at Notre Dame College in Cotesdes-Neiges, Quebec. He fulfilled this function for four decades while doing an assortment of other jobs for his religious community. As an old man he would joke that “at the end of my novitiate, my superiors showed me the door, and I stayed there for 40 years.” His great confidence in St. Joseph inspired him to recommend this saint’s devotion to all those afflicted in various ways. On his many visits to the sick, including the students, he would anoint them lightly with oil from the candles in the college chapel on the altar of St. Joseph. Many claimed they were healed through the intercession of Brother André and prayers to St. Joseph. Using nickels from haircuts he had given students — amounting to a few hundred dollars — in 1904 he began the construction of a small, 15-by-5-foot chapel on the side of Mount Royal, facing the college. He later added a roof. As the chapel underwent expansions and became an Oratory, Brother André was allowed to travel to collect additional funds beginning in the 1920s, and one of these trips brought him to the Fall River Diocese, and its working class but spiritually-rich French population. Brother Bessette died in 1937 at the age of 91, “and at the time was only able to keep down a mixture of flour and milk,” said Holy Cross Father Leo Polselli, director of the Father Peyton Center in North Easton, in a homily given January 6, the day when Brother André’s optional memorial is commemorated. Father Polselli, who grew up in Holy Rosary Parish in Fall River, noted that Brother André would often say, “I am a man just like you,” and deny the gift of healing, saying his efforts were made fruitful by St. Joseph. He recalled a story that when the Oratory was being mulled in 1924, Brother André was asked his opinion, and stated: “Put a statue of St. Joseph at the center. If you need a roof over it, ask St. Joseph and he will build it.” “Today we need that kind of faith, love and confidence in our lives,” Father Polselli added. At the time of his death a million people filed before Brother André’s coffin to mourn his passing. His remains rest in the splendid Oratory in Montreal which he helped build. His body lies in a tomb built below the oratory’s main chapel, except for his heart, which is preserved in a reliquary in the Oratory. The heart was stolen in March 1973, but returned in December 1974. Raised to the ranks of the Venerated by Pope Paul VI in 1978, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 23, 1982.

January 15, 2010

Hate crimes against Catholics increase in 2008 By Christine Williams Anchor Correspondent BOSTON — In 2008, hate crimes against Catholics increased nearly 25 percent in the United States over the previous year, according to statistics compiled by the FBI. Leaders of Catholic organizations say the Church’s outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion has led to more attacks. “The significant increase represents an overall frustration with the Catholic Church’s unwavering stance on the truth,” said Victor Pap, executive director of Boston-based Catholic Citizenship. The ultimate goal of many secularists is to “eliminate religion from the public square,” and at times some resort to intimidation in order to keep people of faith silent. Such tactics are likely increasingly to affect Catholics in Massachusetts as the region and the nation become more and more secular, he said. According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the total number of hate crimes incidents decreased in 2008, but incidents with a religious bias increased by a small margin. The number of hate crimes against Catholics also rose from one to four. Over the past five years the number has not exceeded six. In the nation, the number of hate crimes against religious groups increased by nine percent in 2008. In the same year, crimes against Catholics rose from 61 to 75; similar spikes occurred in 2003 and 2006. Over the past 10 years, attacks against Jewish people have been more than ten times as common and since 2001, the year of the September 11 terrorist attack, hate crimes against Muslims have numbered more than those against Catholics. Recently, the hot-button issues of same-sex marriage and abortion in health care have been at the forefront of political news. The Catholic Church’s opposition to both has also been highly publicized. “Catholics are becoming more bold in speaking out against controversial issues like same-sex marriage and abortion,” said Susan Fani, director of communications for the Catholic League, a national Catholic civil rights organization. “Those are issues that people get emotional about,” she said. The Catholic laity is taking the lead of their bishops


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in opposing taxpayer-funded abortions in health care, she added. In a letter dated November 20, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urged U.S. senators to “incorporate essential changes” in the health care reform bill. “The bill provides federal funding for plans that cover abortion, and creates an unprecedented mandatory ‘abortion surcharge’ in such plans that will require Pro-Life purchasers to pay directly and explicitly for other people’s abortions,” they wrote. “The bill fails to ensure that even religious institutions would retain the freedom to offer their own employees health insurance coverage that conforms to the institution’s teaching.” Because of these issues, the bishops called the Senate bill an “enormous disappointment.” Fani argued that the chasm between the culture of life and the culture of death is growing and the backlash is violence and intimidation. “The country is so polarized now,” she said. “There is the potential for more hate-filled responses.” Fani specifically cited the places of worship, many of them Mormon, that were targeted after the people of California passed Proposition 8, which restored traditional marriage in the state in 2008 “Vicious and vile things were said about people who were opposed to same-sex marriage,” she added. The 2008 hate crimes report from California’s Department of Justice shows an increase of more than one-third in crimes against religious groups. Typically, racial bias is the motiva-

tion for the most hate crimes in California and the nation. Over the past 10 years, bias against sexual orientation has been second in the number of hate crimes incidents reported. The increase in hate crimes against religious groups in 2008 was so significant that, although incidents with a bias against sexual orientation increased by 16.7 percent, the number of attacks based on religion surpassed them. Hate crimes against Jews and Catholics increased while those against Protestants and Muslims decreased slightly. Crimes in the “anti-other religion” category more than doubled. And hate crimes against groups that supported Proposition 8 spread beyond California. Mormon buildings in Salt Lake City, Utah were vandalized and envelopes containing white powder, presumably intended to look like Anthrax, were sent to Mormon temples in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. A similar envelope was sent from California to the Knights of Columbus headquarters in New Haven, Conn. The Knights raised more than one million dollars for the “Yes on 8” campaign. Most of the FBI’s hate crimes statistics involve vandalism and intimidation, though they also include the violent crimes of assault, rape and murder. Fani said that all religious groups need to be able to speak up for their beliefs without feeling intimidated. As Christians, Catholics are called to speak up for the truth, she said. “If we don’t speak up now to protect our rights, we’ll lose them,” she said. “We have no choice but to speak out.”

Prayer for National Vocation Awareness Week January 10-16, 2010 Lord Jesus, as you once called the first disciples to make them fishers of men, let your sweet invitation continue to resound: Come, follow me! Give young men and women the grace of responding quickly to your voice. Support your bishops, priests and consecrated people in their apostolic labor. Grant perseverance to our seminarians and to all those who are carrying out the ideal of a life totally consecrated to your service. Awaken in our community a missionary eagerness. Lord, send workers to your harvest and do not allow humanity to be lost for the lack of pastors, missionaries and people dedicated to the cause of the Gospel. Mary, Mother of the Church, the model of every vocation, help us to say “yes” to the Lord who calls us to cooperate in the divine plan of salvation. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen. (Pope John Paul II)

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Youth Pages

pennies from heaven — Daryl Breda, center, from A Woman’s Concern, recently visited Holy Trinity School in West Harwich, to accept a bucket of change the students had been collecting to help women in unplanned pregnancies.

January 15, 2010

the reason for the season — Children from Annunciation of the Lord Parish in Taunton presented a Christmas pageant. With the young performers is pastor, Father Timothy Driscoll.

it’s all thumbs up — SANAKO, the global leader in language learning software, headquartered in Finland and New York, recognizes Bishop Feehan High School’s state-of-the-art language lab as a feather in its cap. The Attleboro school’s language lab, introduced in 2006, is installed with the Sanako Lab 300 and is featured as a positive case study in its international marketing campaign. Results are clear, that using their versatile multimedia language learning system, students have significantly improved speaking, reading and writing language skills. Furthermore, of the 244 seniors at Feehan who have completed their three-year world language requirements, 86 percent have decided to continue their world language study. Even though there is some overlap with some senior students electing to study two or more languages, more than 92 percent of the senior class is actively engaged in the study of a world language. The language department offers courses in French, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, and Latin. Here students in the language lab, give the thumbs up to signal the teacher that they are getting the right signals.

in good form — Youngsters from St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Provincetown recently celebrated the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord.

o holy night — St. Mary-Sacred Heart School in North Attleboro celebrated the coming of Christmas with its annual Christmas play, entitled “That night in Bethlehem.” Accompanying the play was a 65-voice choir lead by Father David Costa. This photo shows the entire third-grade class in the full Nativity scene. The play was directed and written by third-grade teacher Susan O’Korn and assisted by parent Kerri Murphy.


here is a myth, a story called “The Rabbi’s Gift.” The author is unknown yet its message is quite poignant to today’s culture. Please permit me to share the premise with you. A group of elderly monks recognized that their order was dying out. Each of the men, over 70, had lost the hope and joys they once found in their faith and in their community. In the woods, not too far from the monastery, stood a small cottage that the local rabbi would use as a retreat from time to time. The abbot of the monastery, seeking words of wisdom and hope, sought out the rabbi for counsel. After the two commiserated about an overall lack of hope and spirit among the people and prayed together, the abbot prepared to depart. He asked the rabbi for words of wisdom or encouragement to which


Youth Pages

January 15, 2010

A rabbi and an abbot ...

sensed a profound change the rabbi replied, “I have no in the Brothers and the advice to give but the only atmosphere surrounding the thing I can tell you is that monastery. Because of this the Messiah is one of you.” more people arrived and they Upon his return to the brought their friends who in monastery, the abbot shared turn brought their friends. the rabbi’s parting words Eventually, witnessing this with his fellow monks. As joyful and vibrant commutime progressed, each of the Brothers tried to figure out exactly who among them was the Messiah. In doing so, they recognized each other’s unique gifts. Then one of By Crystal Medeiros the Brothers asked if he himself could be the Messiah. As nity, young men conversed the monks contemplated whether or not their brothers with the monks more frequently until one asked to or they were the Messiah, join followed by another and each began to treat the other then another. and himself with an extraorThe gift that the rabbi dinary amount of care, love and respect. This respect was provided was a mere rethen witnessed by the towns- minder to the monks. His words helped shed the light people who would walk and of God’s love to them to picnic along the grounds of which they were eternally the monastery. The people

Be Not Afraid

grateful. So how does this story apply to us today? After hearing the story, you may wonder exactly who the Messiah was. The answer is simple, yet complex at the same time: they all were the Messiah. Through their love and respect of self, they were able to love and respect each other the way God had always intended. They were Christ to one another. By our baptism, we are also called to be Christ to one another. We are called to spread God’s message of love, respect, mercy and forgiveness. We are called to be disciples. Some may think that the best way to share God’s message with others is through some grandiose gesture. But it’s not like that at all. Of course service projects are wonderful —

when done for the correct reason instead of a means of self-gratification and self-importance. Rather it is the little gestures that hold the transformative power to bring people into a closer relationship with God. If we do not come to a mutual understanding and respect for one another, whether we are liberal or conservative, Catholic or Protestant, black or white and any other [blank] or [blank], then our efforts will be for naught. When we do not truly believe that respect and love of self and neighbor can provide us with the initial tools to spread the word, then how can we truly have a shared lived experience of our faith as true disciples of Christ? Crystal is assistant director for Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. She can be contacted at

Deadline approaching for Family Rosary’s 2010 ‘Try Prayer! It Works!’ Contest Competition encourages children to express faith through art, poetry and prose

old friends — St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro, Class of 1983, recently held a reunion at Trinity Restaurant & Pub in Norton. Many alumni now have children attending St. John’s which teaches students in grades K-8. The class is hoping to plan another reunion sometime this year. All alumni can find other classmates on the school’s Facebook page. Front from left: Lori (Heap) Henry, Michelle (Perry) Wagner, Joe Palermo, Karen April, Nancy (DaCosta) Larson. Rear: Gay (Perkoski) Barboza, Jeff Simoneau, David Palermo, and Jim Castro

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@

EASTON — It’s time to submit entries for the 2010 “Try Prayer! It Works!” Contest. The deadline for this national competition encouraging children to express their faith through art, poetry and prose is February 1. Sponsored by Family Rosary, the “Try Prayer! It Works!” Contest is open to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. The 15th annual national competition attracts more than 3,000 entries from more than 50,000 participants nationwide. Children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes, home schooling and other Catholic organizations use their talent to convey their beliefs. This year’s theme — The Family That Prays Together Stays Together™ — focuses on the faith of Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC. Known as the “Rosary Priest,” Father Peyton (1909-92) created that phrase as part of his mission to strengthen families and encourage them to pray the rosary daily. The “Try Prayer! It Works!” Contest asks entrants to use creativity to depict their thoughts and feelings on how their families pray together. Children in grades K-12 enrolled in a Catholic school, Religious Education program,

parish or other organization are eligible to participate in the “Try Prayer! It Works!” Contest. For more information or to download an application, go to All entries must be postmarked by February 1. Questions? Call Holy Cross Family Ministries at 800-299-PRAY (7729). In the spirit of its founder, Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, Holy Cross Family Ministries serves Jesus Christ and his Church by promoting and supporting the spiritual well-being of the family. Faithful to Mary, the Mother of God, the Family Rosary in

the U.S.A., a member ministry, encourages family prayer, especially the rosary. For more information, call 800-299-PRAY (7729) or visit


The Anchor

Catholics click into cyberspace continued from page one

they’ve always taken advantage of the latest technology,” said Msgr. Daniel F. Hoye, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Mashpee. “First it was the printing press, then Vatican radio was one of the first global stations, and now you have Catholic TV out of Boston which has grown light years recently.” “The Church is hugely invested in the communication industry, because the Gospel needs to be proclaimed,” Msgr. O’Connor agreed. “The Internet is where most of our communication comes from today and everything is immediate — there’s no time lag.” In an era where almost everyone seems to have a cell phone, a laptop and a Facebook account, the Catholic Church likewise needs to be accessible through these contemporary avenues of communication. “I think the way evangelization is going to be done now is through the Internet,” said Msgr. John J. Oliveira, pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in New Bedford. “I think the Church has to use every available means of communication nowadays. Younger priests, for example, are easier to access through websites, email and cell phones.” With the launch last year of Pope Benedict XVI’s personal website,, and an already vibrant Vatican website (, it’s obvious the Church is well aware of the importance of the Internet. But there are many other websites of interest for Catholics looking to enhance and inform their faith online. An informal email poll of several parishes here in the Fall River Diocese resulted in a few recurring resources such as: — www.whispersintheloggia., a fascinating daily digest written by Philadelphiabased journalist and Catholic chronicler Rocco Palmo; —, a Drudge Report-like clearinghouse

of daily news stories with direct links to the sources; —, a similar collection of daily headlines with links and commentary on national and international news; —, an international website focusing on current Vatican-related news. “I consult several websites on a regular basis,” said Father Marc H. Bergeron, pastor of St. Anne’s Parish in Fall River. “They provide a whole wealth of information, from what the pope said this afternoon to even a bit of the latest news and gossip.” Father Bergeron recommended seeking out Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s blog,, and, a blog with readings and homilies posted by Father John L. Sullivan of Springfield. After checking in with the official Vatican website everyday, Msgr. O’Connor said he also consults several other Catholic websites of interest. “I like to see what the pope’s doing, first of all,” he said. “I use a lot. It offers a roundup of everything that’s going on in the Catholic world, specifically in America. Another one like that is It’s very much like the Drudge Report format with headlines and links to daily news stories.” Msgr. Oliveira said he regularly checks in with the Vatican and websites. “The other ones I use are mostly homily sites that offer readings for the day — Creighton University (www.creighton. edu) has a great site with daily reflections,” he said. “I also visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website (www. on occasion.” Msgr. Hoye also noted there are good websites that provide quick opportunities for daily reflection and prayer such as Sacred Space ( or the Con-

A Greek Pilgrimage In the Footsteps of St. Paul November 2 - 11, 2010 We will visit the Churches he founded. Also other places of interest such as the Acropolis, the Temple of the Unknown Soldier, the Temple of Zeus, and many, many others. The pilgrimage also includes a three-day cruise to the Greek Islands and Turkey. $3,569 from Boston all inclusive (Insurance is optional) For complete information on this fabulous pilgrimage, please contact Msgr. John J. Smith: 508-675-3622

cord Pastor weblog (, with readings and reflections by Father Austin Fleming, a pastor in Concord. “Most of the sites I visit have links on our parish website,” Msgr. Hoye said. In fact, here in the Fall River Diocese many parishes were early adopters of setting up a website presence to provide quick and instant information to parishioners about everything from upcoming events to details about weddings and funerals. “People tell me they use our website to find out about weddings and other parish activities, so I know they’re using it,” Father Bergeron said. “I find that some parishioners use the website,” Msgr. Oliveira said. “I find it’s generally used more by parents of school children — I think the younger you are, the more apt you are to use the website.” While the traditional mode of imparting important parish information — the printed weekly bulletin — hasn’t yet been supplanted by digital technology, most pastors agreed that the Internet is a great supplemental way to get the word out. “Activities get posted on a regular basis and people who go on the website seem to use it,” Msgr. Hoye said. “We used to have a newspaper here, but we discontinued that in favor of the website.” “If you want to know what’s going on, what the Church is doing, or even what your local parish is doing, you’ve got to go on the Internet, you’ve got to look at the websites,” Msgr. O’Connor agreed. With a growing population of younger Catholics who never knew what it was like before the Internet, email and text messaging became an integral part of daily life, the Church is well positioned to adapt to these new modes of communication. “I think the Church is going to have to continue to evolve and the mode of communication is going to change,” Msgr. Oliveira said. “I don’t think we’re going to have PowerPoint sermons in the future, but I certainly see technology being used more and more.” “In terms of using technology to spread the word, I think we’re there,” Father Bergeron said.

January 15, 2010

Pope lauds North American College on 150th anniversary VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI marked the 150th anniversary of the Pontifical North American College, and said the seminary deserves thanks for “training generations of worthy preachers of the Gospel and ministers of the sacraments.” The pope met at the Vatican January 9 with the institution’s students, superiors, faculty and alumni. The college, the U.S. national seminary in Rome, was concluding a reunion and other events to commemorate the anniversary of its founding in 1859. The pope said he was confident the college would continue to produce “wise and generous pastors capable of transmitting the Catholic faith in its integrity, bringing Christ’s infinite mercy to the weak and the lost, and enabling America’s Catholics to be a leaven of the Gospel in the social, political and cultural life of their nation.” Repeating a point he made during his visit in 2008 to the United States, the pope said the Church in

America is “called to cultivate an intellectual culture which is genuinely Catholic, confident in the profound harmony of faith and reason, and prepared to bring the richness of faith’s vision to bear on the pressing issues which affect the future of American society.” He said the Pontifical North American College was “uniquely prepared to help meet this perennial challenge.” “In the century and a half since its foundation, the college has offered its students an exceptional experience of the universality of the Church, the breadth of her intellectual and spiritual tradition, and the urgency of her mandate to bring Christ’s saving truth to the men and women of every time and place,” he said. Pope Pius IX inaugurated the college on Dec. 8, 1859, having donated the site on Via dell’Umilta in downtown Rome. In 1953, the college moved to a larger new facility on the Janiculum Hill, not far from the Vatican.

Catholic Communication Campaign is this weekend FALL RIVER — Parishioners throughout the Fall River Diocese are invited to contribute to the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) at parish Masses this weekend. This annual national campaign is unique in that it is designed as a shared collection, meaning half the proceeds stay in the local diocese and the other half is forwarded to the Catholic Communication Campaign office of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference to support national projects. The portion remaining in the Fall River Diocese is used to fund the weekly Television Mass, which airs at 11 a.m. each Sunday on WLNE-TV, Channel 6. The diocese began sponsoring the broadcast of weekly Mass on Channel 6 in 1963 to serve those unable to attend a parish Mass because of infirmity or advanced age. “The Television Mass Apostolate has provided home-bound parishioners for more than 40 years with spiritual connection with our local parishes,” said Msgr. Stephen J. Avila, director of the apostolate and pastor of St. Mary Parish, Mansfield. “Many who watch regularly will know the priest celebrating

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the Mass and truly feel part of the congregation, many of whom they also know. It is an important way that we, as a faith community, reach out to our elderly and infirmed parishioners, and assure them of our continued concern and love,” he continued. Broadcast of the Television Mass costs the Fall River Diocese between $55,000 and $60,000 each year for the production and halfhour airtime. In addition to proceeds from this weekend’s CCC collection, the Television Mass is also supported by the Catholic Charities Appeal. Msgr. Avila expressed on behalf of Bishop George W. Coleman his gratitude to those who support the TV Mass through the CCC collection. He said donations may also be sent to the Diocesan TV Mass at P.O. Box 7, Fall River, MA 02722. At the national level, the CCC serves millions of parishioners through video, radio, the Internet, and more. Among a sampling of CCCfunded services available on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website are blogs, live streaming videos, articles, audio, texts and daily Scripture readings for listening and downloading. On average, 1.2 million visitors to the site listen to the daily readings each month. The CCC also funds the Bishops’ Conference Office of Film and Broadcasting, responsible for providing reviews of movies, DVDs, theater and video — a valuable reference for families seeking faithand age-appropriate entertainment. It also supports the Conference Department of Communications’ television offerings, including program series, reflections, and public service announcements.


The Anchor

January 15, 2010

Sister Pauline L. Boivin, SUSC; sister of Father Louis R. Boivin FALL RIVER — Holy Union Sister Pauline Louise Boivin, 90, the former Edna Marie Boivin, sister of Father Louis R. Boivin, a retired priest of the Fall River Diocese, died December 31, in the Catholic Memorial Home. A native of Taunton, she was the daughter of the late Euclide and Mathilda (Madore) Boivin. She was one of four daughters who entered religious life: Sister Gabrielle Boivin, SSJ; Sister Anna Imelda, SUSC; and Sister Lucille Therese, SUSC. They predeceased her as well as her sisters Ida Boivin and Alma Pelletier; and brothers Joseph and Euclide. Besides her priest brother, she leaves two other sisters, Maria Donnelly and Rita Bedard; and nieces and nephews. Sister Boivin graduated from St. Mary High School in Taunton.

She entered the Holy Union Sisters in Fall River, on Sept. 8, 1940 and professed her final vows July 26, 1948. She studied at the Sacred Heart School of Education in Fall River, Sacred Heart Teacher Training School in Groton, and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Catholic Teacher’s College in Providence, Sister Pauline R.I. She studLouise Boivin, ied at Newton College of LiSUSC turgical Music and participated in professional courses in math and science. Her teaching career in elementary and secondary grades spanned almost 40 years. She taught in parish schools in Massachusetts,

Rhode Island and in the home missions in Alabama. When she retired from teaching in 1981, she became secretary for the Religious Education program at Sacred Heart Parish in North Attleboro. She served as sacristan at St. Mark’s Parish in Attleboro and secretary at St. Mary Parish in North Attleboro. She joined the Holy Union retirement community at The Landmark in Fall River in 2000 and moved to Catholic Memorial Home in 2005, where she remained until her death. She would have celebrated 70 years as a Holy Union Sister in September. Her funeral Mass was celebrated January 4 in St. Jude the Apostle Church in Taunton. Burial was in St. Francis Cemetery in Taunton. The Riendeau-Mulvey Funeral Home in Taunton was in charge of arrangements.

2009 Marian Medals video to air on TV

FALL RIVER — A video of the 2009 Marian Medals Ceremony that took place on November 22 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River is airing on several cable television public access channels in the Fall River diocese. As of press time, the schedule is as follows: — Barnstable, Chatham, Dennis, Harwich, and Yarmouth, cable channel 17, January 20 and 27 at 11 a.m. — Dartmouth, cable channel 9, January 16 at 9 a.m., 2:30 and 10 p.m.; January 17 at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. — Fall River, cable channel 95, January 21 and 28 at 12 noon. — Somerset, cable channel 9,

In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks Jan. 19 Rev. Thomas E. O’Dea, Assistant, St. Lawrence, New Bedford, 1999 Jan. 20 Rev. Roland J. Masse, Assistant, Notre Dame de Lourdes, Fall River, 1952 Jan. 21 Rev. Msgr. Henri A. Hamel, USAF, Retired Chaplain, Retired Pastor, St. Joseph, New Bedford, 1983 Deacon John Cwiekowski, 2001 Jan. 24 Rev. Aaron L. Roche, O.P. Immaculate Conception Mission, North Easton, 1870 Rev. Louis A. Casgrain, Pastor, St. Mathieu, Fall River, 1920 Rev. Edward H. Finnegan, S.J., Boston College Faculty, 1951 Rev. Thomas F. McMorrow, Assistant, Our Lady of Victory, Centerville, 1977 Rev. Cornelius J. O’Neill, Retired Pastor, Sacred Heart, Taunton, 1999

January 17 at 5 p.m.; January 18 at 3 p.m.; January 19 at 9 a.m.; and January 21 at 2 p.m. Please note that public access channels in other communities are also airing the Marian Medal Ceremony video. However, not all airings are scheduled far enough in advance to include the information in this listing. Additional airtime information for other communities will be published as the informa-

tion is made available. The 2009 Marian Medal Ceremony video is also available for purchase. Copies may be ordered in either VHS format ($22.95) or DVD format ($24.95). To obtain a video, please forward a check payable to the Diocesan Office of Communications, Diocese of Fall River, PO Box 7, Fall River, MA 02722. Shipping is included in the video cost.

Around the Diocese 1/21 1/22 1/22

A Healing Mass will be celebrated at St. Anne’s Church, 818 Middle Street, Fall River, January 21 at 6:30 p.m. Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. with Benediction and healing prayers after Mass.

To coincide with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 1973, a Holy Hour will be held January 22 at 1 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, Route 28, West Harwich. The rosary will be followed by Benediction of the most Blessed Sacrament.

The Anniversary of Roe v. Wade will be observed at Corpus Christi Parish in East Sandwich with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament followed by three hours of continual praying of the rosary and ending with Benediction. This will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on January 22. All are invited to drop in to pray at any time and stay for as long or short a period as they wish. Benediction will begin at 4:45 p.m. Call 508-833-8432 for information.


A Portuguese Dinner Night and Raffle hosted by the Knights of Columbus will be held at St. Dominic’s Parish, 1277 Grand Army Highway, Swansea, January 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the parish center. The menu will consist of Portuguesestyle roast and potatoes, Portuguese soup, vegetables and dessert. For tickets or information, call 508-675-7206.


Bishop Connolly High School, 373 Elsbree Street, Fall River, will hold an Open House for all prospective students and their families January 27 at 6:30 p.m. The placement exam for prospective students will take place February 6 at 8 a.m. For more information, call 508-676-1071, extension 333.


Our Lady of Lourdes School, 52 First Street, Taunton, will host an Open House January 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come meet and talk with staff members and parents and register students from Pre-K through Grade 5 for the 2010-2011 school year. For more information, call 508-822-3746 or email


COURAGE, a welcoming support group for Catholics wounded by same-sex attraction who gather to seek God’s wisdom, mercy and love, will next meet January 30 at 7 p.m. For location information, please call Father Richard Wilson at 508-992-9408.


ECHO is now accepting applications for the boys’ retreat weekend to be held February 5-7 at the Craigville Conference Center, Centerville. This retreat for high school students Grades 10-12 is a way to deepen faith and encounter Jesus in your life. For information or to download an application visit or call 508-759-4265.


A Day With Mary will take place February 6 from 7:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at St. Kilian’s Church, 306 Ashley Boulevard, New Bedford. It will include a video, instruction, procession and crowning of Mary, along with Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and an opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation. For more information, call 508984-1823.

Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese Acushnet — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays end with Evening Prayer and Benediction at 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays end with Benediction at 2:45 p.m. Brewster — Eucharistic adoration takes place in the La Salette Chapel in the lower level of Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road, on First Fridays following the 11 a.m. Mass until 7:45 a.m. on the First Saturday of the month, concluding with Benediction and Mass. Buzzards Bay — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Margaret Church, 141 Main Street, every first Friday after the 8 a.m. Mass and ending the following day before the 8 a.m. Mass. EAST TAUNTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place First Fridays at Holy Family Church, 370 Middleboro Avenue, following the 8:30 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 8 p.m. FAIRHAVEN — St. Mary’s Church, Main St., has a First Friday Mass each month at 7 p.m., followed by a Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration. Refreshments follow. FALL RIVER — St. Anthony of the Desert Church, 300 North Eastern Avenue, has eucharistic adoration Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on the first Sunday of the month from noon to 4 p.m. 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.


The Anchor

January 15, 2010

Quoth the Ravens ...


ho says the New England score.’ When Brady hit the gridiron, Patriots can’t stop the run? They did an awesome job last Foxboro faithful were still tryin’ Sunday at stopping their run to the to absorb what happened minutes before. Super Bowl. As Tom dropped back to pass, The Pats ended the 2009 season Terrell Suggs released the grasp, with a whimper against a much and the pigskin went a’bouncing tougher, more talented, and more on the floor. prepared opponent in the BaltiMere minutes later came a more Ravens. touchdown, from the team not It was a horror story of which from our town, Edgar Allan Poe would be proud Quoth the Ravens, ‘Here’s a — his beloved “Raven” haunting score.’ the once-mighty Patriots. The same scenes played out Ironically, Poe was born in Bosall day, while the Patriots slipped ton and lived, worked, died, and is away, as Ray Lewis had predicted buried in Baltimore. When in college, on my way to a degree in English, Poe became one of my favorite authors. In light of that, I’m sure he By Dave Jolivet wouldn’t mind if I were to mimic one of his most brilliant pieces, “The Raven,” after days before. As the birds of prey kept peckwhich the Baltimore football club ing, our title dreams they were is named. a’wrecking, ’til one final statement “Once upon a Sunday freezing, the New England defense was they did roar, ‘Another banner in New Enga-wheezing, land?’ Trying to halt the gallop of the Quoth the Ravens, ‘Not anybacks of Baltimore. more.’” The attempts they made were For us in New England, it’s wait sickly, as the runners cantered until next year. For the Ravens, quickly, they are looking real fine, and ’Cross the frozen tundra once Peyton Manning and company the site of New England football best be at their best — for several lore. reasons: 1) the Baltimore offense; One play into the contest, Ray 2) the Baltimore defense; and 3) Rice began the conquest, with a it was the Colts who unceremonijourney to the end zone, 80 yards ously snuck out of Baltimore in or slightly more, December 1983. Before the fans had settled, the Of that, I’m sure Poe implores opponents showed their mettle, his Ravens quoth “Nevermore.” Quoth the Ravens, ‘Here’s a

My View From the Stands

getting away from it all — Father Thomas E. Costa, back row, second from left, a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Seekonk, recently led 21 men from the parish on a retreat weekend at Campion Renewal Center in Weston. Included in the prayerful journey were men’s spirituality talks, a teaching Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the sacrament of reconciliation. (Photo by Lloyd Simpson)

Anchor 01.15.10  

The official Catholic newspaper of the Fall River Diocese.