Diocese of Fall River
F riday , March 5, 2010
Court rules predatory instant messages legal By Christine M. Williams Anchor Correspondent BOSTON — In a “very strict” interpretation of the Commonwealth’s laws earlier this month, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that sexually explicit electronic material is not illegal. Philip D. Moran, president of the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund, said the February 5 ruling came “out of left field.” Moran is a former assistant district attorney for Essex County. “This is a very strict interpretation of the law,” said Moran, who noted the legislative intent of the law was to protect children from sexual exploitation. As the law is written, sexually explicit materials distributed to
minors that are handwritten or printed are illegal. The statute does not specifically mention electronic transmitted text or online conversations. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 272, Section 28 lays out the penalties for those who distribute “any matter harmful to minors,” “as defined in Section 31.” Matter is then defined in Section 31 as “any handwritten or printed material, visual representation, live performance or sound recording including but not limited to books, magazines, motion picture films, pamphlets, phonographic records, pictures, photographs, figures, statues, plays, dances.” Turn to page 14
Pedestrian accident allows priest to reflect on life, Lent By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
ioners. “After being hit, as I lay on OSTERVILLE — Father Phil- the ground, my first feeling was ip A. Davignon, pastor of Our of sorrow for the young man Lady of the Assumption Parish, who had hit me,” Father Daviwas taking his normal morning gnon shared with The Anchor. “I walk before celebrating the 8 a.m. recognized him as a parishioner Mass on January 21 a and reassured him that practice he regularly enI would be all right. It’s joyed for health reasons bad enough to hit any— when he was struck body, but to hit your by a motor vehicle, leavpastor must have been ing him seriously injured utterly devastating. He with a broken and disloand his father kindly viscated shoulder and minor ited me at Brigham and concussion. Women’s Hospital.” It was a traumatic Father Philip After an extended experience that left the A. Davignon hospital stay, Father priest understandably Davignon — who will shaken as he was transported on celebrate his 48th anniversary a Med-Flight to Brigham and of priestly ministry this May — Women’s Hospital in Boston. was anxious not only to get back And yet his immediate home to his parish and ministry, thoughts following the incident but also to allay the concerns and were with the 18-year-old young fears of his parishioners … esman who was driving the car — a pecially the young man who hit person Father Davignon recog- him. nized as one of his own parishTurn to page 19
no day at the beach — Some of nearly the 40 individuals who braved cold and raw weather take part in the recent Cape Cod Canal Walk, sponsored by the youth group at St. Margaret’s Parish in Buzzards Bay to raise funds for Haitian earthquake victims. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)
Wareham parishioner looks to start Serra Club in diocese
By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
WAREHAM — This being the Year For Priests, John Wilk thinks there’s no better time than the present to start another Serra Club here in the Fall River Diocese. “I wrote a letter to Bishop George W. Coleman ask-
ing if I could start up a new club here in the diocese to promote vocations through laypeople and he thought it was a good idea,” Wilk said. “There’s been enough information throughout the country that suggests Serra Clubs can help bring people to vocations.” Founded in Seattle, Wash., in 1935, the Serra Club Turn to page 18
SMILES mentors’ gifts wrapped in self giving
By Deacon James N. Dunbar
NEW BEDFORD — In 2003 when chronic, long-standing dropout rates were impacting New Bedford and Fall River schools, a partnership involving business, faith and education leaders responded with a mentoring system that is
keeping students in the classroom through graduation. Today, SMILES, is serving several area communities, helping them to turn the corner on their socio-economic woes by offering students the potential for productive and fulfilling lives.
“What SMILES does is to help students who are identified as ‘in need’ by pairing them with a caring responsible adult mentor, who offers them guidance, support and encouragement,” said Marie Rivera, program manager. Turn to page 18
friends of little audrey — Linda Santo, mother of Little Audrey Santo, gathered with the youth group from St. Kilian’s Parish in New Bedford following a talk she gave there February 26. The young people designed the jackets they are wearing. On the back is an image of Little Audrey with the words, “Celebrate Life.” The night of prayer, adoration and witness was attended by 256 people. (Photo by Edwin Aldorando)
News From the Vatican
March 5, 2010
Church statistics show increase in Catholics, priests, seminarians By John Thavis Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — The latest Vatican statistics show a slight increase in Catholics as a percentage of the world’s population, and a slow but steady rise in the number of priests and seminarians worldwide. The statistics, from the end of 2008, were presented along with the new Vatican yearbook February 20. The Vatican said the number of Catholics reached 1.166 billion, an increase of 19 million, or 1.7 percent, from the end of 2007. During the same period, Catholics as a percentage of the global population grew from 17.33 percent to 17.4 percent, it said. The number of priests stood at 409,166, an increase of 1,142 from the end of 2007, one percent. Looking at the way priests are distributed around the world, it said: 47.1 percent were in Europe, 30 percent in the Americas, 13.2 percent in Asia, 8.7 percent
in Africa and 1.2 percent in Oceania. The number of seminarians around the world rose from 115,919 at the end of 2007 to 117,024 at the end of 2008, an increase of more than one percent, it said. The increase in seminarians varied geographically: Africa showed an increase of 3.6 percent, Asia an increase of 4.4 percent, and Oceania an increase of 6.5 percent, while Europe had a decrease of 4.3 percent and the Americas remained about the same. The statistics showed that professed religious women remain the single largest category of pastoral workers, but that overall their numbers continue to decline. From 2000 to the end of 2008, the Vatican said, the number of women religious went from 801,185 to 739,067, a drop of 7.8 percent. Regarding geographic distribution, it said the largest numbers of women religious are still found in Europe (40.9 percent of the total) and the Americas (27.5 percent of the total); both areas have shown a significant decline in numbers since 2000, however. During the same period, the number of women religious in Africa has increased by 21.2 percent, and in Asia by 16.4 percent, it said.
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family time — Pope Benedict XVI walks with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, followed by his wife Lara Azm and his sons Hussam, Rafik Junior and his daughter Lulwa, in the pope’s private apartment at the Vatican recently. (CNS photo/Christophe Simon, pool via Reuters)
Pope to canonize Andre Bessette and Mary MacKillop on October 17 By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI will create six new saints October 17, including the Canadian Blessed Andre Bessette, who will be the first saint of the Holy Cross Brothers and, Blessed Mary MacKillop, who will be Australia’s first saint. The pope announced the date for the canonization ceremony at the end of what is known as an ordinary public consistory, a very formal ceremony opened and closed with prayer, during which cardinals present in Rome express their support of the pope’s decision to create new saints. Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, read brief biographies of the six in Latin. Blessed Bessette founded St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal in Montreal and was known for his intense piety, famed for miraculous cures and praised for his dedication to building the shrine to honor St. Joseph. Born Alfred Bessette Aug. 9, 1845, in Saint-Gregoire d’Iberville, Quebec, he suffered from a chronic stomach ailment that kept him out of school and often without work. At 25, Blessed Andre could not read and his health was so fragile the Holy Cross brothers assigned him to be the doorman at Montreal’s College of Notre Dame, where the congregation had just opened its novitiate. He once commented, “When I joined this community, the superiors showed me the door.” He died Jan. 6, 1937, at the
age of 91. Blessed MacKillop, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, was born Jan. 15, 1842, in Fitzroy near Melbourne; she died in Sydney Aug. 8, 1909. Although her sainthood cause was initiated in the 1920s, it faced some serious hurdles, not the least of which was her brief excommunication and the temporary disbanding of her religious order. Sister MacKillop and other members of the order were committed to following poor laborers into remote areas of the country in order to educate their children. But local Church officials disapproved of the Sisters living in isolated communities, often cut off from the sacraments. Within a few months, the bishop who had excommunicated her lifted his censure and a Church commission cleared the sisters of all wrongdoing. The others to be canonized October 17 are:
The Anchor www.anchornews.org
— Blessed Stanislaw Soltys Kazimierczyk, a Polish-born member of the Canons Regular of the Lateran, who lived 1433-1489. He was famous as a preacher and confessor; — Blessed Juana Josefa Cipitria Barriola of Spain. The nun, who died in 1912, founded the Daughters of Jesus; — Blessed Giulia Salzano, the Italian founder of the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; she died in 1929; — Blessed Camilla Battista Varano, an Italian Poor Clare who lived 1458-1524. The Poor Clare’s path to canonization was unusual. A formal beatification ceremony was never held for her, but in 1843 Pope Gregory XVI recognized centuries of devotion to her and gave her the title blessed. In 2005, Pope Benedict recognized that she lived a life of heroic virtues — usually the first step before beatification and canonization — and in December he issued the decree recognizing a miracle attributed to her intercession. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 54, No. 9
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March 5, 2010
The International Church
Pope mourns Portuguese flood victims VATICAN CITY (Zenit.org) — Benedict XVI is expressing his concern and promising prayers after heavy rains February 20 caused flash floods on the autonomous Portuguese island of Madeira. In a papal telegram to Bishop António José Cavaco Carrilho of Funchal, sent through the Pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, he offered his condolences to the families of the dozens who died. The death toll was at 42, but search teams were still working to find 13 missing. “The Supreme Pontiff wishes to express to the whole local community his concern, entrusting the victims to the mercy of God and praying for consolation and support for their families, the wounded, and those who have lost their possessions,” the telegram states. Benedict XVI also blessed them and invoked “comforting divine graces” for “all those tried by this tragedy, not forgetting the persons who take part in rescue and assis-
tance work.” Meanwhile, the diocesan Caritas of Funchal continues to work on site, supporting those affected by the storm. It has arranged temporary housing for some 400 people, as well as organizing a system to receive and distribute aid, including medicines, clothes and canned food. A group of some 100 scouts of the Catholic Scout Movement is collaborating with the Municipality of Funchal in the cleanup. Bishop Cavaco Carrilho presided over a funeral for the victims in St. Anthony’s Cemetery, as well as a funeral for a fireman who died as a result of the storm. Bishop George W. Coleman has authorized a special collection for the Madeira flood victims, with proceeds going to Caritas of the Diocese of Funchal. Donations can be made to any parish or sent to the Fall River Diocese, P.O. Box 2577, Fall River, MA 02722. Mark “Madeiran Relief Efforts” in the memo section of the check.
flower child — U.S. Army Pfc. Danny Comley of Camdenton Mo., receives flowers from an Afghan girl during a patrol in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province recently. (CNS photo/Baz Ratner, Reuters)
Mexico City names parish worker in priest’s murder By David Agren Catholic News Service MEXICO CITY — The Mexico City Attorney General’s Office has named a 21-year-old Church employee as a suspect in the murder of a Catholic priest, Father Jose Parra Puerto, rector of the Metropolitan Assumption Shrine and chaplain to the Knights of Columbus. Ulises Amado Amilcar was traveling with Father Parra February 17 after an evening Knights of Columbus event, when Mexico City officials say the pair stopped in the northern part of the Mexican capital. Exact details are still uncertain, but the priest was then shot by at least one unknown assailant; his body was found February 18 in his van, which was parked in a suburb east of Mexico City. Judicial officials said the murder was not an act of random violence and forensic tests proved Amado did not shoot Father Parra. Armando Martinez Gomez, president of the College of Catholic Lawyers of Mexico, who is working closely on the investigation with judicial officials, told Catholic News Service that inconsistencies in Amado’s statements made him a suspect, and the motives for the crime are
still unknown. The Archdiocese of Mexico City immediately condemned the slaying of Father Parra and called for a thorough — and honest — investigation. “We demand the capital authorities (carry out) a rigorous investigation and detain these criminals — but the real ones because, on occasion, (the investigators) have invented cases,” Father Hugo Valdemar Romero, archdiocesan spokesman, told reporters. Father Valdemar described Father Parra as an “exemplary priest” and “very loved in the archdiocese.” A statement from the archdiocese said five of its priests had been murdered or died under suspicious circumstances in recent years and that previous investigations into those deaths besmirched the Catholic Church by implying several of the deceased were involved in immoral activities. Relations between the archdiocese and local government have deteriorated over the past three years as Mexico City has implemented laws decriminalizing abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and allowing same-sex marriages.
March 5, 2010 The Church in the U.S. Cardinal: Catholics, Mormons must defend religious freedom together
PROVO, Utah (CNS) — Catholics and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must continue to stand together as a “vital bulwark” against those in American society who want to “reduce religion to a purely private reality,” the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops told a historic gathering at Brigham Young University in Provo. Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago spoke February 23 on “Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defense of Religious Freedom” as part of the Mormon school’s forum series. He was the first cardinal to speak at the university. Cardinal George praised the Mormons for their work with Catholics to protect the conscience rights of health care providers and institutions that do not want to participate in abortion or assisted suicide and to defend marriage as the union of a man and a woman. “When the government fails to protect the consciences of its citizens, it falls to religious bodies to defend them,” he said. True religious freedom means not just freedom to worship or “individual conscience rights as long as you don’t make anyone unhappy,” but the right to “influence the
public square,” he added. The cardinal said Catholics and Mormons shared not only a common understanding of religious freedom, but the common experience of growing from a small, sometimes persecuted religious minority to larger communities of 67 million U.S. Catholics and
about six million U.S. Mormons today. “Both our communities have prospered in a nation that respects religious freedom and recognizes that government should never stand between its citizens and almighty God,” he said. Catholics and Mormons also
have stood side by side in efforts against “the degradations associated with pornography” and in promoting “respect for the lives of those waiting to be born and respect for marriage,” he added. Although he did not refer directly to the successful 2008 campaign to overturn same-sex marriage in
choir boy — Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, center, and Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, right, talk with Mormon Tabernacle Choir organist Richard Elliot in Salt Lake City recently. Cardinal George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was in Utah to present a talk at Brigham Young University. (CNS photo/courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
California, in which Catholics and Mormons were prominent, Cardinal George said both religious communities believe that “every single person is made in God’s image and must be respected.” “But that does not mean you accept everything they do,” he said. “The relationship is at question here, not the persons.” He also said that those who “have gay people in their families, as I do ... have to be there for them and love them.” The audience at the 22,700seat Marriott Center gave Cardinal George a standing ovation after his talk, which also was attended by two top officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Elders Quentin L. Cook and M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve. Cardinal George told the gathering that his own experiences with the church began when he went to Salt Lake City as a child with his mother, a church organist, who wanted to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Many years later in 2007, he was offered an opportunity to serve as guest conductor for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for one song. “Never had I been asked to do something like that,” he said. “It was a tremendous feeling of awe and power and great satisfaction.” It was also “something of an ego trip” to have “that great choir waiting for me,” Cardinal George said. And when he moved his arm, the choir erupted into “a magnificent sound — all in unison, all in harmony,” he added. “I thought to myself, ‘I’m doing better with the Mormons than I am with the Catholics,’” the cardinal said with a laugh. “I’ve had a lot harder time getting (Catholics) to sing together.” DIOCESAN TRIBUNAL FALL RIVER, MASSACHUSETTS Decree of Citation Since his present domicile is unknown, in accord with the provision of Canon 1509.1, we hereby cite Carlos A. Soares to appear in person before the Tribunal of the Diocese of Fall River (887 Highland Avenue in Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts) on March 17, 2010 at 2:30 PM to give his testimony regarding the question: IS THE SOUSA-SOARES MARRIAGE NULL ACCORDING TO CHURCH LAW? Anyone who has knowledge of the domicile of Carlos A. Soares is hereby required to inform him of this citation. Given at the offices of the Diocesan Tribunal in Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts on February 24, 2010. (Rev.) Paul F. Robinson, O. Carm., J.C.D. Judicial Vicar (Mrs.) Denise D. Berube Ecclesiastical Notary
March 5, 2010
The Church in the U.S.
Maryland bishops oppose recognizing same-sex unions from other states
visiting the vets — Capuchin Father James Stump visits a patient at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. Father Stump said he makes his rounds with one purpose in mind: to invite sick and wounded veterans to encounter the living Christ. (CNS photo/Jose Luis Aguirre, Catholic San Francisco)
Workshops scheduled to train priests, diocesan leaders on new missal WASHINGTON (CNS) — Registration is now open for a series of workshops to help prepare priests and diocesan leaders for implementation of the revised Roman Missal. The 22 workshops will take place in each of the nation’s 15 regions beginning in April and continuing into November. They are sponsored by the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship and the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, in cooperation with the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Each seminar will be staffed by either Msgr. Anthony Sherman, executive director of the divine worship secretariat, or Father Richard Hilgartner, associate director. A second speaker will be either Brian Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrator of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky.; Dolly Sokol, director of development of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M.; or Peter Zografos, director of campus ministry and an adjunct faculty member
at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Topics to be covered include the historical and theological context of the new missal; the role of the priest celebrant in both proclaiming and singing the texts; the impact of change on both priests and laypeople; and suggested strategies for implementing the missal locally. According to an announcement at the Vatican in late January, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is pulling together the final version of the English translation of the missal. Because bishops’ conferences approved the Roman Missal in sections over a period of years, a final review and minor edits were needed to ensure consistency, said a congregation official. Most English-speaking bishops’ conferences are preparing materials to introduce and explain the new translation with the hope that people will begin using it in parishes at the beginning of Advent 2011. The exact date for implementation in each country, however, will be set by the bishops’ conference in that
country after final Vatican approval of the translation. The dates and locations for the workshops are: April 15-16, Cincinnati; April 20-21, Richmond, Va.; April 29-30, Phoenix; May 11-12, Grand Rapids, Mich.; May 13-14, Kansas City, Mo.; May 1920, Helena, Mont.; May 24-25, St. Paul, Minn.; June 8-9, Denver; June 21-22, Orange, Calif.; June 29-30, Louisville; July 20-21, Emmitsburg, Md.; August 5-6, Milwaukee; August 10-11, Trenton, N.J.; August 24-25, San Francisco; September 7-8, Oklahoma City; September 22-23, Boston; September 29-30, Seattle; October 4-5, Alexandria, La.; October 18-19, Albany, N.Y.; October 26-27, Honolulu; October 28-29, San Antonio; and November 4-5, Orlando, Fla. The workshops will run from 2 p.m. on the first day until 3 p.m. on the second day. Further details about the seminars is available at www.fdlc.org, and registration for the workshops (limited to priests and diocesan leaders) is at www.usccb.org/romanmissal.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CNS) — Maryland’s Catholic bishops took “strong exception” to a February 24 opinion by Maryland’s attorney general stating that state agencies should recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. “We trust our legislature and the people of Maryland will also object, and will act accordingly to counteract this opinion,” said a joint statement signed by Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of Baltimore, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington and Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Del., whose dioceses all include parts of Maryland. The statement was released by the Maryland Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops, based in Annapolis. Attorney General Douglas Gansler issued the opinion on same-sex marriage in response to a legislator’s request he look into a question some say in unclear in state law. Maryland is one of 41 states with a statute that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. Measures to allow same-sex marriages in Maryland have failed, although the state’s lawmakers have extended some benefits to same-sex couples. Although it will not change state law, Gansler’s opinion can guide Maryland officials. The attorney general’s office, for example, can defend a state agency in court for recognizing a same-sex marriage from another state. Legislation stating that Maryland would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states has not made it through the
General Assembly. The state’s bishops noted that the General Assembly has “repeatedly and explicitly upheld Maryland’s definition of marriage ‘between a man and a woman’ even as certain limited benefits have been extended to same-sex couples.” They said the attorney general’s opinion “chips away at our society’s foundational institution” and demonstrates a “fundamental disregard for the nature and purpose of marriage and its impact on society, as well as for the expressed will of the legislature and previous attorney general opinions.” “We urge lawmakers, the governor and the courts to uphold the definition of marriage through all appropriate means,” the bishops stressed. The bishops said they “respect the dignity of homosexual persons and roundly reject all unjust discrimination against them,” but noted that Maryland’s marriage statute reflects the “convictions of Maryland’s citizens and their legislators.” They noted that marriage between a man and a woman is not “merely a fact of religious faith or an institution established by civil authorities” but is “invariably reserved to the union of one man and one woman because of their unique ability to bring children into the world, thus forming a stable and secure foundation for our society.” “Allowing the decisions of outof-state jurisdictions or courts to dictate public policy in Maryland undermines the proper role of the legislature and the citizens they represent,” the bishops added.
The Anchor Correcting the damage, 50 years later
Fifty years ago this September, while campaigning for the presidency, John F. Kennedy went to Houston to try to convince the Protestant ministers of the Great Houston Ministerial Association, and through them the Protestant majority in the United States, that they had nothing to fear from electing a Catholic to the highest political office in the land. There the future 35th president of the United States said, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the president — should he be Catholic — how to act, … where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source.… I believe in a president whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation, nor imposed by the nation upon him¹ as a condition to holding that office. … I do not speak for my Church on public matters; and the Church does not speak for me.” On Monday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver was invited by Houston Baptist University to come to assess the legacy of that historically noteworthy address. In a speech entitled, “The Vocation of Christians in American Public Life,” the shepherd of the Rockies declared that Kennedy’s speech has certainly had an enduring impact, but one that is fundamentally negative. “Fifty years ago this fall, in September 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy, the Democratic candidate for president, spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association,” Archbishop Chaput said. “He had one purpose. He needed to convince 300 uneasy Protestant ministers, and the country at large, that a Catholic like himself could serve loyally as our nation’s chief executive. Kennedy convinced the country, if not the ministers, and went on to be elected. And his speech left a lasting mark on American politics. It was sincere, compelling, articulate — and wrong. Not wrong about the patriotism of Catholics, but wrong about American history and very wrong about the role of religious faith in our nation’s life. And he wasn’t merely ‘wrong.’ His Houston remarks profoundly undermined the place not just of Catholics, but of all religious believers, in America’s public life and political conversation. Today, half a century later, we’re paying for the damage.” Archbishop Chaput openly admitted that his were “strong words,” but went on to back them up by showing, first, how Kennedy misunderstood or misrepresented the meaning and consequences of the First Amendment and, second, how Kennedy’s principles led him and so many after him to moral and political incoherence. Analyzing Kennedy’s position in favor of an “absolute” separation of church and state, Archbishop Chaput said that the then-Massachusetts Senator seriously misread the Constitution. “The founders and framers didn’t believe [in an absolute separation of church and state]. And the history of the United States contradicts that [claim]. Unlike revolutionary leaders in Europe, the American founders looked quite favorably on religion. Many were believers themselves. In fact, one of the main reasons for writing the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause — the clause that bars any federally-endorsed church — was that several of the Constitution’s framers wanted to protect the publicly-funded Protestant churches they already had in their own states.” He went on to describe how the Founding Fathers not only opposed an absolute separation between church and state but actually believed and promoted that government should strongly encourage the practice of religion. “Their reasons were practical,” Archbishop Chaput asserted. “In their view, a republic like the United States needs a virtuous people to survive” and it was clear to them that “religious faith, rightly lived, forms virtuous people.” He clarified that the drastic misunderstanding of the separation of church and state was basically unknown in American civic consciousness until Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, in 1947, “excavated it from a private letter President Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802.” The following year the U.S. bishops demonstrated in a pastoral letter how Black’s 1947 opinion was “an utter distortion of American history and law” and a “shibboleth of doctrinaire secularism.” Archbishop Chaput noted that, even though Kennedy mentioned the bishops’ pastoral letter in his 1960 speech, “he neglected to mention that the same bishops, in the same letter, repudiated the new and radical kind of separation doctrine he was preaching.” Not only did Kennedy’s speech popularize an erroneous notion of the First Amendment that has had negative consequences for churches and American public life ever since, Archbishop Chaput insisted, but it also did enormous damage to the conscience formation of citizens and those engaged in public life. He gave Kennedy credit for stating both that he would resign his office if his presidential duties should “ever require me to violate my conscience or violate the national interest” and that he would not “disavow my views or my Church in order to win this election.” However, the prelate added, “In its effect, the Houston speech did exactly that. It began the project of walling religion away from the process of governance in a new and aggressive way. It also divided a person’s private beliefs from his or her public duties. And it set ‘the national interest’ over and against ‘outside religious pressures or dictates.’” The end result was that he “secularized the American presidency” and “privatize[d] presidential religious belief — including and especially his own — in order to win that office.” That had enormous “atheistic implications for public life and discourse,” which have gone a “considerable way toward ‘secularizing’ the American public square by privatizing personal belief.’” “Fifty years after Kennedy’s Houston speech,” Archbishop Chaput continued, “we have more Catholics in national public office than ever before. But I wonder if we’ve ever had fewer of them who can coherently explain how their faith informs their work, or who even feel obligated to try. Too many Catholics confuse their personal opinions with a real Christian conscience. Too many live their faith as if it were a private idiosyncrasy — the kind that they’ll never allow to become a public nuisance. And too many just don’t really believe.” He said that Kennedy “didn’t create these trends in American life” but “his Houston speech clearly fed them.” The Archbishop went on to describe, in contrast to Kennedy’s principles and basing himself heavily on the thought St. Augustine, the authentic vocation of a faithful Christian in public life. He said that a believer’s relationship with Christ must have public consequences if Christianity is not to become merely a “word game and a legend.” There is a need to “live and prove our love [for God and others] by our actions … in the public square.” Since human law forms the character of citizens and since politics is the exercise of power, both have “moral implications that the Christian cannot ignore” if he is to remain “faithful to his vocation as a light of the world.” Rather than a separation between faith and life, he sketched out the proper harmony that is supposed to exist in American Catholics with regard to faith and public life at the beginning of his speech, when he said, “I’m here as a Catholic Christian and an American citizen — in that order. Both of these identities are important. They don’t need to conflict. They are not, however, the same thing. And they do not have the same weight. I love my country. I revere the genius of its founding documents and its public institutions. But no nation, not even the one I love, has a right to my allegiance, or my silence, in matters that belong to God or that undermine the dignity of the human persons he created.” It was an outstanding statement that deserves to be read in full. Let’s hope that, in 50 years, Americans will be able to look back and say that this Houston speech has had as much an impact for good as, looking back now over the past half-century, John F. Kennedy’s speech has had for public and private ill.
March 5, 2010
Revenge of the black toad
“I’m a liar. Do you believe me?” screen, “I have committed only one sin, and I That mind-twisting statement, said to me hu- share its beautiful fruit with all those who wish morously by a high school teacher, is germane for it. Raise your hand and absolve me.” The to whether we can consider credible anything one sin, of course, was the sin of disobedience the devil says. Can the one whom Jesus called to God, which the devil seeks to share with ev“a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44) ever tell eryone who sins. Satan went on to say, “It hapthe truth? pens at times that you do raise [your hand] for It seems from the Gospel that not everything me [in absolution], for I am often close to you in that the devil and his cohorts say is false. We the confessional.” know that various demons publicly confessed Later in the conversation the evil one develJesus as the “holy one of God” and “Son of oped the point. “You actually work for me from God” (Lk 4:34, 4:41; Mt 8:29). We also see how time to time. You think your people are well disthe devil, in tempting Jesus in the desert, would posed but they are not. Why do you examine the take truths out of context and misapply them to- conscience of your penitents? What is the use ward his evil ends. From this evidence, I think of so many questions? Isn’t the one I have them a general rule of thumb would be that the devil make enough? … It is I who make their examimay say something true, but we should always nations for them. … You think you convert them be aware that he will also try to manipulate such all: you are mistaken! It lasts for a moment, but I truths against God and us. catch up with them afterwards.” This discussion is relevant to evaluating what The devil here stressed that even after penithe evil one said to St. John Vianney when the tents have determined to go confession, he tries priest encountered him in people who were to steer them away from being properly disposed possessed. Because of his extensive experience for a valid absolution. He mentioned that he ofwith the devil that we’ve been describing the ten tries to guide their examinations, to get them past three weeks, Vianney had been given facul- to make superficial reviews of their conscience ties by his bishop to perform exorcisms. He in or to get them to hide particular sins. That’s why fact did several. The details of his exorcisms are he hated the questions the Curé of Ars would of obvious interest to present-day exorcists — ask in the confessional to assist penitents to that he did them make an integral at the foot of the confession. He altar, used relics also stressed that of the saints, and after the confesemployed parsion, he doesn’t ticular prayers — give up, but but I think of far tries to recapture greater interest to those he has lost. By Father those of us who There’s a lot Roger J. Landry are not exorcists for all of us to is what we can learn here. learn about the St. John ViCuré of Ars, the priesthood and the Christian life anney, after hearing about the “one sin,” spoke from what the devil divulged during these rites in Latin to the woman, to determine if it were of liberation. If what the devil or demons said truly the devil on the other side. “Tu, quis es?,’ was true, then we can learn quite a bit. he said, Latin for “Who are you?” The devil The first thing we grasp is the incredible im- replied, “magister caput,” or “the master, the portance of even one priest like the Curé of Ars. head.” Then the devil launched into a bunch of During the exorcism of a possessed woman, the insults and complaints in French. devil howled, “If there were three like you on “You ugly black toad, how you torment earth, my kingdom would be destroyed. You me!” Black toad was the way the devil referred have taken more than 80,000 souls from me.” to priests. “You are always talking about going Such a declaration explains why the devil away. Why don’t you? So many others retired spent so much time trying to thwart the sleep of to rest! Why don’t you do like them? You have St. John Vianney. certainly worked enough. … While it’s certainly possible that the devil was “There are black toads that torture me less lying or exaggerating, such a statement, if true, than you. I shall certainly get you. I have deshould inspire every priest and provide much for feated those who were stronger than you. … bishops and the whole Church to consider. Without that [blasphemous term to refer to Our Imagine if there were three priests in the Lady] who is up above, we should have you for whole world today who responded to God’s certain; but she protects you, together with that graces the way St. John Vianney did, or if one great dragon [St. Michael] who is at the door of priest per country or one per diocese did: the your church… . devil is divulging that he would be totally de“Why do you get up so early? You disobey feated. This is something that needs to be pon- purple robe [the bishop], who ordered you to dered. So does the corollary: the devil is essen- take care of yourself. Why do you preach so tially saying that he fears a few priests like the simply? That always makes you pass for an igCuré of Ars scattered through the world more norant man. Why do you not preach as a great than he does all the other priests of the world man, as they do in the towns? How I delight in combined! those great sermons that do no harm to anyone, This leads to some challenging questions: but leave the people to live in their own way to Could it therefore be possible that the world do what they like. … would be better off having just three priests like “You are a miser of souls. You snatch as St. John Vianney than the 440,000 priests alive many as you can away from me! But I shall try today who, however pious, fail to correspond to hard to get them back.” God with the totality of the Curé of Ars? Could With this diabolical diatribe, Satan highit be that the true work of the Gospel would be lights his priorities in St. John Vianney’s case: more effectively accomplished in a diocese by to get him to retire, to detach him from devotion just one priest like St. John Vianney than by to the Blessed Virgin and to St. Michael, to perhundreds who are merely good? Are we produc- suade him to take it easier and sleep a little later, ing in our seminaries and continuing formation to preach eloquently rather than with a clear programs priests like the Curé of Ars who truly and direct message of conversion and holiness, frighten the devil, or are we merely sending out and to mitigate his “greed” for the salvation of an army of solid ones who collectively do not souls. scare him nearly as much? There’s much for all of us to learn here from In another exchange between Father Vian- what the devil hates. ney and the devil, which occurred in 1840 when But this information should be particularly a woman who was not known to be possessed useful to those priests whom God is calling to came to confession, we learn — at least poten- learn from St. John Vianney how to become tially — other important truths. priests whom the devil really fears — the one, This possessed woman had remained silent three or many who, according to the devil, in the confessional for quite some time, as Fa- will destroy his kingdom and truly help make ther Vianney repeatedly encouraged her to begin Christ’s kingdom come. confessing her sins. Finally, an infernal voice Father Landry is pastor of St. Anthony of said to him loudly from the other side of the Padua Parish in New Bedford.
Putting Into the Deep
March 5, 2010
illiam Barclay, a Presbyterian professor who wrote a set of commentaries on the Gospels, once said that there are two most important days in a person’s life: “the day we are born and the day we discover why.” Barclay’s words remind me of a woman I knew who, on the occasion of her 95th birthday, declared to me that she had never discovered God’s purpose for her life. I was initially startled by her comment until I realized it had taken me almost four decades to discover my own calling. I was baptized into a mainline Protestant denomination, the faith of my parents. My formative years were spent in that denomination and I continue to have a deep and abiding love for those in this denomination who took me by the hand and led to the knowledge of God and his divine Son. I grew up in Staten Island, N.Y., surrounded by Catholic friends and neighbors. Our home stood in the shadow of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church and its parochial school, which stood on the bluff of a nearby hill. One winter afternoon when I was eight years old and full of curiosity, I climbed the hill to Our Lady of Good Counsel Church and hesitantly stepped inside. The interior of the church was dark and the only visible light came from the glow
hen John Paul II called for a new Evangelization in America, he said it was up to the individual bishops, the local Church as it will, to define what form this would take. On Feb. 8, 2010, the very local Church of the Taunton Deanery began to shape the process. It began, as all great endeavors do, with a question: What went wrong, and its analog: What must we do to fix it? These questions emanated from the genuine concern that nearly three generations have walked away from the table of the Lord. Curiously, these generations have continued to send their children to sit at the proverbial card table of the Church — Religious Education. My good friends and colleagues who have organized excellent Religious Education programs will admit that catechesis can never replace or be compared to the source and summit of our faith. Why, then, do many people choose Religious Education for their children as their only connection with their parish? The deanery discussion offered many possible explanations for what disconnects adult Catholics from the eucharistic
The two most important things in life
of the lamp suspended above Father Higgins and I spent the the tabernacle. Since I had never next six weeks studying the Catbeen in a Catholic church, I echism and some history of the knew nothing of tabernacles or Catholic Church. One day when sanctuary lamps. I was, however, Father Higgins was showing me transfixed as I stood quite still around the chapel, pointing out and stared at the glow coming things of interest, I asked why from the lamp. Although I was Catholics genuflected when they totally unaware of the presentered church. “Well, Henry,” ence of our eucharistic Lord in he said, “it’s because our Lord is the tabernacle, our Lord was truly present in the tabernacle.” there and I remember that was That’s when it hit me that our the instant I knew in my heart I Lord had been speaking to wanted to become a Catholic. my heart that day years earlier Eleven years later I enlisted in the Air Force Year For Priests and was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in Vocational Reflection San Antonio, Texas, where I arrived on a Saturday afternoon. The By Father next morning I sat on a Henry J. Dahl footlocker and wondered what was in store for me. Suddenly, an officer when I was transfixed before the walked into the barracks and tabernacle. Unaware at the time, ordered all Catholics to line up it had been one of the defining on the road outside so they could moments in my life. march to the chapel for Sunday In spite of the great confuMass. “What is this? Why does sion and countless myths that the Air Force make sure all Cath- circulated between Protestants olics get to Mass on Sunday?” and Catholics regarding each Sitting there I made a promise other’s religions, I never had the that as soon as basic training was slightest doubt that I had finally over I would seek out a priest reached home. and find out about Catholics and Soon after completing what seemed to make them so religious instruction, I was special. welcomed into full communion When I reached my permain the Roman Catholic Church. I nent assignment, it didn’t take made my first confession and the long to find Father Patrick O. next day received my first holy Higgins, a young chaplain with a Communion. Now I knew what thick Irish brogue. had been missing in my life and
what would fill me with God’s grace. As I grew in faith and understanding, the Catholic Church would become my anchor and the most important thing in my life. The next defining moment came a quarter of a century later as I sat on the deck of my house and gazed at a glorious Oregon sunset. “I’m 45 years old,” I thought to myself, “and don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.” Musing over this, the thought crept into my head, “Why not become a priest? Isn’t it time to thank God for the grace I’d been given?” Over the next few weeks the idea became clear that God might be calling me to priesthood. Although I was frightened by all the hurdles that would be ahead, I decided not to second-guess God. There was so much to do. I had never been to college. I’d have to do that first. When I told my boss I was giving up my position with the company to go to college full-time, he said, “Henry, you’re having a mid-life crisis: ignore it.” But I didn’t ignore it. I quit my job and went to college and earned a degree. In 1992 I entered Holy Apostles College and Seminary and was almost simultaneously sponsored by the Diocese of Fall River. Four years later, at the age
assembly. One suggestion was crisis team to do triage. We have that it had to do with the busy to admit finally that we have lives that people live. If you many people on the periphery only can schedule one hour each of our parish that have not been week for your faith life, then the converted to Christ. choice made was for Religious The first step is to identify the Education. Others suggested people most in need of hearing that it isn’t about the time spent, the good news of Christ. Jesus but about the notion of responsibility. Many adults feel that it is their responsibility as Catholic parents to give their children the Religious Education needed to acquire the sacraments. By Claire McManus Once the children receive the sacrament of confirmation they feel their responsibility has been brought his message of love and fulfilled. It was also pointed out compassion to the marginalthat many adults are in marriages ized and sinners of society; is that complicate their relationship this message being broadcast to to the Church, and therefore do all who need to hear it? We can not feel welcome in the eucharis- do this, but it will take work, tic assembly. patience, and a renewed energy Each person offered valuable injected into our evangelical insight, but by the end of the dis- mission. cussion it felt as though we were Evangelization is neither a at the scene of a terrible disaster. separate entity that takes place Though we all could identify somewhere outside on the the symptoms, we know that the streets, nor does it exist on some problem is much more systemic regimented timeline. It is at the than the warning signs reveal. core of what we are as Church, We have finally reached the and it is ongoing and continupoint that we need to send in the ous. Evangelization happens at
the place where Word, Worship and Service intersect. This is why there can never be an either/ or choice between Eucharist and catechesis; it is both/and. The challenge before us is to emphasize the centrality of the Eucharist in the whole life of the parish. The ministries of the parish give witness to the Paschal Mystery. Word-Worship-Service, when harmonized, sing out the great kerygma of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ, will come again. The Paschal Mystery is such an outrageous claim. How did it become something so blasé that people can take it or leave it? Maybe we’re guilty of embedding it too deeply in the institution, or have underemphasized it so much that now it is taken for granted. The message needs no improvement, but it’s time to utilize our most effective messengers: the people in the pews. We all know those special people who have been faithfully connected and involved in our parishes; they are the Christ-bearers to others. Evangelization happens when people who have experienced
of 55, I was ordained on June 8, 1996 by Bishop Sean O’Malley. Father Higgins, the chaplain who brought me into the Catholic Church 38 years earlier, was present at my ordination and was a concelebrant the following day for my first Mass. I spent the first four years of my priesthood at Corpus Christi parish in Sandwich. In 2002 Bishop O’Malley named me the pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Provincetown. I have been here at St. Peter’s for more than seven years and am truly blessed to be the parish priest of this wonderful community of faith. The parishioners of this parish, whom I am honored to serve, have not only validated my call to priesthood, but in so doing, have helped me discover why I was born. My head spins as I recall how quickly things moved from the evening I sat on my deck and thought God might be calling me to priesthood. Barclay was right when he said, “The two most important days in a person’s life are the day we are born and the day we discover why.” When someone asks why it took me so long to become a priest, I tell them I came as soon as I was called. They really don’t have to know it took 47 years for me to process the call. Father Dahl, ordained in 1996, is pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Provincetown.
Bridging the gap
The Great Commission
the living Christ tell their story to others. Wherever a person is giving his or her personal witness to the risen Christ in their lives, there is the place where conversion happens. This is nothing new to the Church, but lately it has been removed from the life of the parish and placed in special venues outside the walls. What would happen if we took what we have done so well in our retreat movements, and integrated this into the life of the parish? What if we invite parents to take part in these retreats as an essential part of their responsibility to prepare their children for the sacraments? What if each new parent who brings his or her child for baptism is given as much catechetical attention as our other sacraments of initiation? There is so much more that we can do to bridge the gap that separates our children’s catechesis from the eucharistic assembly. We can and will find ways to re-evangelize these lost generations. We need to be creative and courageous, and above all, allow the Holy Spirit to lead the way. Claire McManus is the director of the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation.
March 5, 2010
n the first reading today, Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, who was a pagan priest of Midian. Moses was leading the flock into the Sinai wilderness. What was Moses looking for? Was it greener passages or was God calling him to be the leader of his chosen people? Taking a quick look at Moses, we see he has done well after having fled from Egypt as a fugitive. He married into a wealthy family, got a job taking care of the sheep and had been exploring his religion. He had a deep love for his wife and son. Life could not get much better than this, or could it? Leading his flock into the desert, he came to a sacred mountain called Horeb. At the base of this mountain, he saw a bush that appeared to be burning, but was not consumed by the fire. He left the flock and climbed up the mountain. A voice spoke from the bush, “Moses, Moses. Come no closer. Remove your
One more Lent to bear fruit
sandals from your feet because simple weekend. It was much the place you are standing is more. I found God’s unconholy ground.” ditional love and forgiveness. Moses hid his face. He was God can sometimes address us afraid to look at God. Think in a way that might not make about this. God talks to a morsense at the time but leads to tal man, a murderer on the run. He summons Moses to do what will Homily of the Week forever mark him as a Third Sunday great Law Giver. With of Lent God’s help he will stand before Pharaoh By Deacon and demand that his Daniel Donovan people be set free from bondage. Moses is called by God to this mountain. Aren’t a closer relationship with him. we all longing to connect with He asks us only one thing, and God? Like Moses, we are led that is to say yes. to places and things that will In the Psalm today, Psalm change our lives. Sometimes 103, quotes, “Bless the Lord, we may have to leave our job, O my soul, and forget not all family and friends. Some are His benefits.” What are these called at a young age, others benefits? Love and forgiveness. when they are older in years. In today’s Gospel, Pontius With me, the life-changing Pilate the Roman ruler beevent came when making a lieved that some of the GaliCursillo retreat on the grounds leans coming to the temple to of Stonehill College. A Curpresent their sacrifices were sillo is a short course in Chrisrebels against his authority. tianity. I thought it would be a Pilate’s troops disguised them-
selves with cloaks over their battle dress to mingle with the Jews. These troops carried clubs instead of swords and attacked the crowd with heavy violence. A large number of these Galileans were killed. The clear sin of the day was Pilate’s cruelty and his soldiers’ cooperation with it. Jesus tells us that, with regard to the 18 people killed when the tower fell, it cannot be suggested that they were in any way in greater sin than others living in the city. This is not how God works. In our world today, we can look at Haiti and see the 230,000 people who have died and many more seriously injured. In light of these examples, there is no reason to suppose that either of these groups of people were more sinful than anyone else. Yet their fate was to be a warning to all to repent. Jesus’ ministry centers on love and forgiveness. How do
we come to receive Jesus’ love and forgiveness? We hear the word “repent” twice in today’s Gospel. Jesus indicates in Matthew 5:45 that in the present age good fortune or disaster is no indication of a person’s spiritual state. Luke’s use of the fig tree in this reading is different from Matthew’s and Mark’s. Here in Luke, we see there is time allowed to grow, another chance is given to bear fruit. Jesus insists on our bearing fruit, not to be harsh with us. He wants us all to be saved. There are still Christians reluctant to obey God. We need to do what Moses did when he met God at the burning bush. We must take off our shoes and humble ourselves. These Lenten days remind us that we have been given time to make some corrections in our way of life. We need to use this time wisely and well. Deacon Donovan serves at St. Patrick’s Parish in Wareham and at the Barnstable House of Correction.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Mar. 6, Mi 7:14-15,18-20; Ps 103:1-4,9-12; Lk 15:1-3,11-32. Sun. Mar. 7, Third Sunday of Lent, Ex 3:1-8a,13-15; Ps 103:1-4,68,11; 1 Cor 10:1-6,10-12; Lk 13:1-9. Mon. Mar 8, 2 Kgs 5:1-15b; Ps 42:2-3: 43:3-4; Lk 4:24-30. Tues. Mar. 9, Dn 3:25,34-43; Ps 25:4-5b,6,7bc,8-9; Mt 18:21-35. Wed. Mar. 10, Dt 4:1,5-9; Ps 147:12-13,15-16,19-20; Mt 5:17-19. Thur. Mar. 11, Jer 7:23-28; Ps 95:1-2,6-9; Lk 11:14-23. Fri. Mar. 12, Hos 14:2-10; Ps 81:6c-11b,14,17; Mk 12:28-34.
Ralph McInerny and the tragedy of Notre Dame
n late February, Professor Marjorie Garber of Harvard came to the University of Notre Dame as the Provost’s Distinguished Lecturer for 2009-2010. Among other engagements, she spoke to a class on “Breaking the Code: Transvestism and Gay Identity,” the subject of chapter six of her book, “Vested Interests: Transvestism and Cultural Anxiety.” Ralph McInerny, an Olympic-class punster who taught at Notre Dame for 54 years before his death on January 29, might have appreciated the sly title of Professor Garber’s book; he almost certainly would have regarded her topic as an example of everything that had gone wrong
reticent about celebrating the life at the university to which he had and accomplishments of Ralph dedicated his professional life. McInerny. The university website Ralph McInerny was arguably posted a nicely written obituary the most distinguished scholar ever to work at Notre Dame. His scholarly publications outstrip those of other Notre Dame philosophers by orders of magnitude — and that’s before we get to his popular fiction, his By George Weigel magazine work, and his encouraging of generations of younger Catholic three days after his death, but academics. Yet a university that there was little sense in the unidoes not hesitate to boast of its versity’s official recognition of its accomplishments as measured loss that a gigantic figure had left by the U.S. News and World the scene. Report ratings seemed curiously One cannot help suspect that this has something to do with the fact that Ralph thought Notre Dame had gone off the rails in its dogged and relentlessly self-promoting attempts to measure itself against what it likes to term “peer schools,” such as Dartmouth and Yale. What Ralph understood, and what the man who brought him to Notre Dame, the legendary Father Theodore Hesburgh, has never seemed to understand, is that that’s the wrong plumb-line by which to measure a Catholic university’s accomplishment. Or indeed any university’s accomplishment, given the intellectual chaos, political correctness, deca-
The Catholic Difference
dence, and madcap trendiness that has afflicted those “peer schools” since the late 60s. Ralph McInerny knew, and could demonstrate with acute philosophical rigor, that there art truths built into the world and into us: truths we can know by exercising the arts of reason; truths that, known, lay certain moral obligations on us, personally and in our civic lives. With the rarest of exceptions, they don’t know that, and in fact they deny that, at the “peer schools” to which Notre Dame is addicted to comparing itself. And therein lay the tragedy of Notre Dame and Catholic institutions of higher education of a similar cast of mind, as Ralph saw it: they had sold their intellectual and moral birthright — the true excellence that comes from an immersion in the Great Tradition of western higher learning — for a mess of pottage. I’ve long thought that all of this had something to do with the misreading of a 1955 essay by Father John Tracy Elis, “American Catholics and the Intellectual Life,” which justifiably criticized the shabby condition of too much of Catholic higher education in the United States in those days. Father Hesburgh and others
influenced by one reading of Ellis’s critique decided that the thing to do was for Notre Dame to become Harvard, so to speak. Ralph McInerny thought that this didn’t make much sense at a time when those “peer schools” were awash in pragmatism and utilitarianism. Rather, he believed (and I think this was the more accurate reading of Ellis) that Notre Dame and other premier Catholic universities should play to strength, emphasizing a demanding liberal arts education while bringing the best of the mid-20th century Catholic philosophical, theological and literary renaissance to bear in the U.S. Doing that, Catholic universities would model a form of higher learning that was truthcentered, character-building, and life-inspiring. There is indeed some of that going on at Our Lady’s University today, thanks to students, younger faculty, and some reform-minded members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Those true reformers lost a happy warrior for their noble cause with the death of Ralph McInerny. Perhaps someday the university’s board and administration will understand that. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
March 5, 2010
The Gospel according to Thelma
day off-duty. Why does it always Thursday 25 February 2010 — on the shores of the Segregan- seem to rain on the one day I have to myself? I don’t think I set — gale-warning flag hoisted actually have a dark cloud hangain, rain, go away. Come ing over my head, as characters again another day. This in cartoon strips often do, but morning, the National Weather Service in Taunton issued not one but two severe weather alerts for The Dightons. The warnReflections of a ings instantly chirped on Parish Priest my computer. According to the experts, we can By Father Tim anticipate wind gusts Goldrick up to 50 miles per hour, heavy rains, and the posmaybe I have. Into the sacristy sibility of flooding. Is it just me, walked Thelma Sherman. She or have we all had quite enough is the sacristan for weekday of the drab winter of 2010? The Masses here at St. Nicholas. I gloom gets to you after a while. grumbled something about the I headed to the church to celebrate the morning Mass. An- lousy weather. “Father,” she responded, “I have learned that other dreary day was beginning. To make things worse, it was my in this life you have to make
The Ship’s Log
The Anchor your own sunshine.” That, dear readers, is the Gospel according to Thelma. Thelma walks the talk. As a member of the former St. Joseph Parish in North Dighton, she received the top diocesan award, the Marian Medal, 15 years ago. Like the Duracell Energizer bunny, the anthropomorphic pink rabbit, she keeps on going. Never mind the fact that Thelma is an elder and walks with a cane. When I arrive at the church, I find everything in place for the celebration of Mass. Thelma is also what in monastic communities is called the porter. She unlocks the church doors before everyone (including me) arrives. She has the church key (and I don’t mean the bottle
‘But why, mommy?’
rent is a prerequisite to fulfilling have been nibbling away Jesus’ command to share God’s at a book entitled, “The love with all the world (MatDifference God Makes,” by thew 28:16-20). An illustration Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., from athletics would be that just the Archbishop of Chicago. I because I ran a half marathon say nibbling away because what Cardinal George has to say about 23 years ago, this does not mean that without ongoing training the role of the Catholic faith in I could wake up today and run our modern word is so incredanother one expecting the same ibly rich that to read it straight or better results. In fact, I could through would be like trying to definitely expect worse results, if enjoy an entire, triple-layered I even came close to finishing. chocolate cake in just one sitting. Similarly, just because we It’s certainly tempting to do, but from previous experience I know that the end result would only be feeling so spiritually overstuffed as to have lost the ability to actually move on any single By Heidi Bratton insight from Cardinal George. I find this problem to be somewhat common when I may have attended Catholic am attempting to learn anything school or CCD classes during new about how to live a more authentically Catholic life. I need our youth, this does not mean that we could wake up today and time not only to take in the new breezily explain to our teenager information, but also to digest it what he is supposed to be getting and to figure out how to properly out of Mass, the difference beintegrate it into my life. As a tween a Christian denomination busy parent, however, it’s chaland a cult, or why the Church lenging enough for me to find teaches that being in love is not the time to take in new infora good enough reason for being mation, let alone to digest and sexually intimate before marintegrate it. Many parents I talk riage. And these aren’t even the with express the same frustration most pointed questions an astute about continuing to be formed in teen is likely to spring on us. their faith as adults. Even though I assumed it would, Although there are obstacles, being a cradle Catholic didn’t I am convinced that as Catholic guarantee that I had been taught parents each of these three tasks or had obtained a solid grasp of — gathering, processing, and integrating information about our basic Catholic principles. As a young mom I knew very little Catholic faith — is vital to the health of our personal faith. They about the Bible, the importance of the Magisterium, or where are vital to the corporate health to find authentically Catholic of our families, parishes and our answers to the increasingly culture at large, too, because complex questions confronting keeping our faith alive and cur-
Home Grown Faith
us in the contemporary world. And yet, learning about just these three things while becoming a more experienced mom has been a huge help in my quest to give accurate, reasonable, and faith-filled answers to the reallife questions posed by my own astute children. Returning to my athletic analogy, just like our bodies, our faith needs to be fed new nutrients and exercised regularly in order to retain the strength and capability necessary to engage in the spiritual marathon we call parenting. We simply can’t answer, “But why, mommy?” based on what we think we once knew, especially if we never actually learned it in the first place. In his book Cardinal George highlighted something St. Peter wrote as a reason to take ongoing faith formation very seriously: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). If you are a parent like me, then the “everyone” asking you questions is most likely going to be your child, and explaining the hope that is within you to him or her is going to be a big part of your life’s spiritual mission. Stay tuned for the next column when I’ll present a few, bite-sized ways we can work adult faith formation into our busy lives. Heidi is an author, photographer, and full-time mother. She and her husband raise their six children in Falmouth. email@example.com.
opener.) Assisted by her son Bob, she also does this for the first Mass on Sunday mornings. Thelma organizes the recitation of the rosary before daily Mass. She serves as lector. She brings holy Communion to the sick and homebound. She oversees the parish “prayer hotline” for parishioners in distress. She organizes our First Friday Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. She supervises the admission process at the weekly Bingo games in the church hall. She is a member of the Women’s Guild. She is often seen at parish wakes and funerals. She mails out hundreds of hand-written greeting cards for every occasion imaginable — at her own expense. Did I mention that Thelma is a Third Order Dominican? She drives ailing Dominican Sisters to their doctors’ appointments as necessary, along with participating in the order’s retreats and prayer days. Thelma is everywhere. “You have to make your own sunshine,” Thelma maintains. This is much better than making your own moonshine. One of my pet peeves in pastoral ministry is those who always see the glass as halfempty. “We will never be able to do this,” is their mantra. If you listen to such sentiments, you never will. Negativity can spread as quickly as swine flu. Deliver us, O Lord, from the power of negative thinking. I prefer the motto of Bob the Builder, “Can we do this? Yes, we can!” One does have to be realistic. In pastoral ministry, you must have your feet planted firmly on the ground. You cannot have your head in the clouds like
some Pollyanna. Parish goals and objectives must be achievable. Nothing is as bitter-tasting as failure. If you try something and it doesn’t work, pronounce it dead, bury it, grieve it, get over it, and move on. Nothing succeeds like success. “You need to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t mix with Mr. Inbetween,” as the old song goes. Truer words were never spoken. Sister Mauricia Burke, OP, attended her first ministry staff meeting here this week. Her attitude was a shot in the arm for the rest of us. She brings a new perspective and increased enthusiasm to our pastoral ministry. Sister praised the progress being made, especially in our efforts at outreach and evangelization. She marveled at how we seem to have so many volunteers. Really? The rest of us have been plugging along day in and day out setting the course and never bothering to look back at how far we have sailed. We have been focused on how we can achieve more effective outreach and engage more parishioners. Her message to us was that our cup overflows. And here we were thinking it was only half full. It was an energizing staff meeting. Sister’s presence among us is going to spur us on to greater things. She sees with new eyes. The world in which we live is not filled 24/7 with sunshine and rainbows and there are plenty of rainmakers among us. “On gloomy days, we must make our own sunshine”; the Gospel of Thelma. Amen to that. Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.
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Our readers respond The Legion of Mary seeks members The auxiliary members of the Legion of Mary in the Fall River Diocese, who recite the rosary and the Legion prayer tessera daily, are really the encouragement to the active members to accomplish their work. Although a Praesidium may only have four or five active members doing the apostolic work of visiting the sick, shut-ins or visiting families of the newly-baptized, the back-up prayers of as many as 200 to 300 auxiliaries in parishes are like the “ammunition” needed for a successful warfare against the evils of the world as they bring people closer to God. Representing the priests, they are ambassadors to the world to console, instruct and evangelize. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once told Legionaries: “First, you are a lay organization devoted to the Apostolate .… Second you belong to the Out-Ministry. We priests belong to the In-Ministry.” Bearing this in mind, we are always in need of more active and auxiliary members willing to give of their time and prayers to become part of this world-wide lay organization. Alice Beaulieu, New Bedford
Baby picture told a great story Thank you for publishing the photograph of the baby in utero in your February 4 issue of The Anchor. The image of the fetus holding onto the surgeon’s finger successfully dispels the notion that the unborn are somehow less than human. Our 11-year-old son was particularly delighted by the picture exclaiming, “Hey, that’s cool. Is the baby OK?” It’s not surprising that such an observation should come from the mouth of one innocent … in reference to another. Mickey Boyar, West Barnstable Another view of health care True health care reform starts with Tort reform and being able to purchase health care across state lines to make costs competitive, not a complete makeover of our present health care system, which is the best in the world. The majority of Americans do not want what President Obama and the Democrats are proposing. We proved this when we elected Scott Brown. Rep. Paul Ryan brought up 10 points that the president did not debate him on. He said, “This bill does not control costs or reduce deficits. Instead, it adds a new health care entitlement when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have.” Joseph Alves Jr., Taunton
March 5, 2010
Parishioner holds Christ’s gifts with ‘open hands’ By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
study are mere stepping-stones to her participation in many other parish organizations. SOUTH EASTON — Frances Long appreciates She has served several terms on the parish counand lovingly accepts all that Christ has given her in cil; she serves as an extraordinary minister of holy life. Communion at all weekend Masses and coordinates But she makes a point of stressing how she holds that group; she serves as a lector at Sunday Masses; those precious gifts with “open hands,” so that Jesus she leads a rosary recitation twice a month on Monmay take back and use whatever he wishes. days at the Southeast Rehabilitation Center in North “I do whatever he asks of me to the best of my Easton; and she coordinates weekly visits to parish ability,” Long said. “Because I hold everything with shut-ins and the sick. open hands, I say to him he can take back anything “I have a small group of eight ministers who go out whenever he wants. I don’t take it to myself and say on Sunday and visit with them, bring them the parish ‘It’s mine’ and ‘I’m doing bulletin, and administer it.’ It’s service to him in holy Communion,” Long whatever way he wills.” said. “We make sure that The retired English everyone we are aware of teacher and former guidwho is a shut-in receives ance counselor in the Communion and gets a Brockton Public School visit.” System has put her faith In the absence of a into action by being a viformal bereavement comtal and driving member mittee, Long also provides of Holy Cross Parish in hospitality as a greeter at South Easton for the past all funeral Masses. 38 years. “I’m one of three exIt began almost immetraordinary ministers of diately when she joined holy Communion at our the parish prayer group in parish who set up for the 1973. funeral Mass, greet people “It’s been said food at the door, and administer nourishes the body, but holy Communion,” she prayer nourishes the said. “You get so much soul and that’s why we more out of these things all need to have strong than you give, really.” prayer lives,” Long said. Long has played such “It should be the basis of a vital and active role in everything that we do.” Holy Cross Parish that she For Long, everything could write a book. revolves around prayer. In fact, she already has. “Daily personal prayer Anchor person of the week — Frances “We had our parish’s is important,” she said. Long. 40th anniversary in 2007 “We need that relationand I wrote a history of ship with God through the parish and tried to pull Jesus Christ. We need to spend time alone with him everything together that we could find,” she said. “It in prayer and in Scripture everyday and then go out was published in a little booklet for the anniversary.” and serve.” According to Father James Fenstermaker, CSC, As a long-time member of the prayer group and pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Long is someone he can someone with experience in teaching English, Long always count on for support. was soon approached about leading a Bible study “Fran is one of the most inspiring members of group for the parish. For the past 12 years she has the parish, a committed Christian who is a true role led two weekly sessions, on Tuesday night and Fri- model for others,” Father Fenstermaker said. “She day morning. has been one of the leaders of our parish over the “The pastor at the time asked if I would lead years, and someone we can turn to when assistance the Bible study and I have been happy to do it ever is needed for any variety of parish activities.” since,” Long said. “A few years ago we added the A devotee of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Friday morning session because some people don’t Flower, Long said she tries to practice the saint’s like to drive at night — especially older people “little way” on a daily basis. — and that’s worked out very well. I’ve been into “She said to do ordinary things with extraordiScripture for many years. Right now we’re doing the nary love,” Long said. “To me, she’s an extraordinary Gospel of Luke.” saint.” While some parishes have had difficulty getting A retired widow who enjoys spending time with people to attend Scripture examinations, Long said her sisters, nieces and nephews and her extended parshe’s been pleasantly surprised by the success of her ish family at Holy Cross, Long said she doesn’t see effort. her parish involvement as a social activity but a way “Tuesday night we have about 15 people and on to give back what she’s received. Friday morning we have 10, so all told there’s about “It isn’t about joining a committee or joining a 25 people every week, and we’ve been able to keep club, it is about serving the Lord, Jesus Christ,” she it going for 12 years,” she said. “It surprises me, but said. “When I serve other people, I’m serving him I will say I always pray for everyone who comes to — whether I’m leading the rosary at a nursing home, the Bible study. I believe in prayer — the basis of leading a Bible study, or bringing Communion to everything is prayer. So I think that has a lot to do people. Whatever I’m doing, I’m serving Christ. with the success of the Bible study.” That’s why I do it and why I’m happy to do it.” But Fran Long’s service to the parish doesn’t To nominate a Person of the Week, send an email end there. In many ways the prayer group and Bible message to FatherRogerLandry@anchornews.org.
March 5, 2010
ready to receive — Bishop George W. Coleman stands with a group of the newly Elect, at the recent Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. These are catechumens who have been found ready by the community of faith to take part in the next celebration of the sacraments of initiation. (Photo by Russel Pinto)
Saint who was former slave seen as patron of trafficking victims PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) — There’s a move under way to seek Vatican approval for a patron saint of human trafficking and slavery victims. St. Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese slave-turned-nun, is the ideal saint for people whose labor and bodies are being exploited, said Brian Willis, a Portland Catholic who has worked for years to help women who have been forced into the sex trade. Trafficking does not require the crossing of international borders, because “you can be born and raised and live in the same house and be a trafficking victim,” said Willis, a member of St. Mary Cathedral in Portland. “It is about exploitation.” Global Health Promise, an organization Willis founded in 2007, protects women and their children from the impact of trafficking, prostitution and sexual exploitation. Willis also works with End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, a group dedicated to combating sexual exploitation and trafficking of youth, in the U.S. In Portland, Catholic Charities receives grants to work with foreign-born human trafficking victims, often young women sold as maids or prostitutes. Portland Archbishop John G. Vlazny and Willis have written letters to Archbishop Pietro Sambi, papal nuncio to the United States, suggesting that the cause of trafficking victims would benefit from the naming of a patron saint. The letters will then be sent on to the Vatican.
Willis told the Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Portland Archdiocese, that he also hopes February 8 — St. Josephine’s feast day — becomes an annual day of prayer for victims of human trafficking and slavery. “Her case is pertinent today,” said Willis, because slavery still endures. Born to a wealthy Sudanese family in 1869, she was kidnapped by slave traders and given the Arabic name Bakhita by her captors. Ironically, the name means “fortunate.” She was sold several times and was handled brutally. She managed to escape once, but was captured and sold again. In 1883, the Italian consul in Khartoum bought Bakhita. Two years later he took her to Italy and gave her as a present to a friend, Augusto Michieli. Bakhita worked as the family’s nanny and, with the family’s daughter, began taking Religious Education classes taught by the Canossian Daughters of Charity in Venice. In 1890 she joined the Catholic Church and took the name Josephine. The family tried to take Josephine back to Africa, but an Italian court ruled that she was free since slavery was illegal in Italy. Three years after joining the Church she entered the Canossian Daughters’ novitiate and spent the rest of her life as a nun. She served her order as a cook, seamstress and doorkeeper. She died on Feb. 8, 1947, at the age of 78. Her canonization in October 2000 made her the first Sudanese saint.
March 5, 2010
Pro-Life groups oppose new Obama plan for health-care reform WASHINGTON, D.C. (CWN) — Pro-Life activists in Washington, D.C., have reacted strongly against a new health-care reform proposal unveiled by President Barack Obama, noting that the legislation would provide government support for abortion. Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan, the sponsor of a Pro-Life amendment that was included in the version of the legislation passed by the House of Representatives, called the Obama version “unacceptable” because it adopted the approach of the Senate version. Douglas Johnson, the legislative direc-
tor of the National Right to Life Committee, went further: None of President Obama’s proposed changes diminish any of the sweeping pro-abortion problems in the Senate bill, and he actually proposes to increase the funds that would be available to directly subsidize abortion procedures (through Community Health Centers) and to subsidize private health insurance that covers abortion (through the premium-subsidy tax credits program). In a separate statement the Catholic Medical Association echoed the opposition to support for abortion, but said that
there are other reasons to oppose the latest proposal, including the need to arrive at bipartisan solution that is economically viable and protects the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship. The CMA called attention to the numerous polls showing that most Americans oppose current plans for health-care reform, adding that “this public opposition is well founded.” In fact, the CMA statement said, the “legislation not only will fail to bring about authentic reform, but will make the current challenges faced by patients, providers, and the American people even worse.”
Church coordinates aid, offers condolences to quake victims’ families LIMA, Peru — As Chile’s Catholic Church coordinated aid to victims of the massive earthquake that struck the country’s central coast February 27, church leaders expressed their condolences to families of the more than 700 people killed. “This has been a catastrophe,” said Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rancagua, president of the Chilean bishops’ conference. “We ache for our brothers and sisters who have lost their lives, and we pray for their families and friends and those who have lost all the possessions for which they have worked all their lives.” After praying the Angelus February 28, Pope Benedict XVI said, “I am praying for the victims and am spiritually close to those affected by this serious catastrophe. For them, I ask God to grant relief of suffering and courage in this adversity.” Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared the southern regions of Maule and Bio-Bio a disaster area, ordered the army to reinforce the police and imposed a nighttime curfew on the region to halt looting of stores. She also asked other countries to assist with field hospitals, water purification and communications equipment, and generators. Telephone communication with Chile still was difficult March 1, and Chileans abroad struggled to contact relatives. Much of the disaster area and even some communities around the capital, Santiago, were without electricity. Most deaths were in the Maule region, about 200 miles south of Santiago, where a quake-triggered tidal wave swept through coastal villages. Cecilia Espinoza, a Maryknoll lay missioner, had just returned to Santiago with a group of students from Notre Dame and Marquette universities before the earthquake
struck. While the group was unharmed, Espinoza was trying to learn if the people they had visited in the Maule region, where she and her family worked for many years, were safe. In the coastal fishing village of Constitucion, “we saw a beautiful parade of folk groups in the plaza, which is a couple of miles from the beach and blocks from the river,” Espinoza wrote in an emailed update. “Now there are boats in the middle of the plaza, and the coastline and beach have disappeared.” The magnitude 8.8 quake, one of the eight strongest on record, struck at 3:34 a.m. local time February 27. Over the next two days, more than 115 aftershocks measuring more than 5.0 were recorded, nine of them registering more than 6.0. The strongest earthquake on record, which measured 9.5, struck
the same area in 1960. Although earthquake-prone Chile has upgraded its infrastructure over the years to withstand tremors, bridges collapsed and highways crumpled during the most recent temblor. In the hardest-hit area, around Linares, Chillan and Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, people slept in the streets after the disaster. In Santiago, the airport reopened to limited flights February 28 and parts of the subway also were back in service. Government officials announced that the school year, scheduled to start March 1, would begin a week later. President-elect Sebastian Pinera, scheduled to take office March 11, toured the disaster area and pledged the country would rebuild with “budget reallocations and the solidarity of the private sector.”
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, March 7 at 11:00 a.m. Celebrant is Father Barry W. Wall, spiritual director of the diocesan Legion of Mary
March 5, 2010
eventh-day Adventism dates from the nineteenth-century enthusiasm for predicting the advent, or Second Coming, of Christ. William Miller (1782-1849), a Baptist farmer in upstate New York, spearheaded the American version. From his reading of Bible prophecy, Miller calculated that Christ would return in 1843-44 to cleanse “the sanctuary” (Dan 8:14), which he interpreted as the earth (or the Church). When that period had elapsed, Miller endorsed the position of a group of his followers known as the “seventh-month movement,” who claimed Christ would return on October 22, 1844 (in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar). The sun rose on the morning of October 23, 1844, like any other day. After the “Great Disappointment,” most of Miller’s followers broke up into factions; the rest either returned to their denominational homes or abandoned religion altogether. A tiny band of diehards theorized that Miller had misidentified the sanctuary: it wasn’t the earth, but the heavenly Holy of Holies, prefigured by the inner sanctuary of the Jerusalem temple (Heb 8:5). Instead of descending to earth, in 1844 Christ entered the “true tabernacle in heaven” to plead his blood in behalf of sinners. Another group of Millerites contended that Christians should observe the Jewish Sabbath – Saturday, the seventh day – instead of Sunday. These two streams of thought
Seventh-day Adventism: ‘The dead know not anything’ (and other raw certitudes) – Christ entering the heavenly departures, not only from Cathtabernacle and the need to keep olic tradition, but also from the the Saturday Sabbath – were consensus of Christian thought. combined by Ellen Gould White The Third Commandment (1827-1915), leader of the Mil- obliges us to refrain from unlerite remnant which formed the necessary labor and to give nucleus of the Seventh-day Ad- God public worship every sevventist Church (SDA). White’s enth day, in commemoration of purportedly inspired writings God’s rest on the seventh day are of necessity anti-Catholic, of creation (Ex 20:8-11). So, since the Catholic Church in- why was the Christian obligastituted the Sunday Sabbath. In tion transferred from Saturday “The Great Controversy” (first published in 1858 and later expanded), White identifies The Fullness the Church of Rome as of the Truth the Whore of Babylon described in Revelation By Father 17-18, the popes as anThomas M. Kocik tichrists, and Sunday worship as the “mark of the beast.” Organized in 1863 in Bat- to Sunday? First, because many tle Creek, Michigan, the SDA Jewish converts thought they had counts 15 million members still to keep the ceremonial law worldwide (about one million of Moses, such as circumcision, in the United States). Adven- abstinence from certain meats, tists have formed a distinctive and scrupulous observance of subculture, accomplished by an Jewish sacrifice on the Sabbath. extensive parochial school sys- St. Paul, in Galatians and Second tem and careful Saturday obser- Corinthians especially, insists vance. They use a valid form of that Christians need not observe baptism, believe in the Trinity the rites of the Old Covenant. and Christ’s divinity, and uphold (Incidentally, Adventists shun the central Protestant doctrines pork and other foods proscribed of “Scripture alone” and justifi- as “unclean” in Leviticus.) Seccation “by faith alone.” In addi- ond, Gentile converts gathered tion, they abstain from alcohol on the first day of the week – and tobacco. For these reasons, Sunday, the day of the ResurrecAdventists seem at first glance tion – to celebrate the Eucharist to be conservative Protestants (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:1-2). With who stress the Second Coming the disappearance of the Jewand attend church on Saturday ish Christian churches, Sunday instead of Sunday. Yet closer was exclusively observed as the examination reveals significant Lord’s Day.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that at death the soul enters a state of unconsciousness until the Second Coming, when the saved will be raised incorruptible (1 Cor 15:42-50; Phil 3:21); the damned will be resurrected one thousand years later at the close of Christ’s millennial reign on earth (see Rev 20) and annihilated by fire. The Catholic tradition (and the majority Christian position in general, including that of the Protestant Reformers) holds that the millennium isn’t a literal thousand years, but the entire period between the Incarnation and Second Coming. At Christ’s return occur the Last Judgment and the resurrection of the dead, when body and soul are reunited, with special characteristics of glory for the saints and unending torment in soul and body for the damned (Mt 8:12; 10:28; 25:46, among others). But where are the dead now? “Asleep in the grave until the resurrection,” answers the Adventist. Numerous Old Testament passages suggest this (Ps 115:17-18; Eccles 9:5-6, among others). In the New Testament, the idea that the saints are with Christ even before the resurrection is undeveloped;
this is partly because of the expectation that Christ would soon return, and partly because Jews and early Christians were rightly concerned that the whole person, body and soul, should be with God. Moreover, some Church Fathers, notably St. Justin Martyr, held that the souls of the just enter heaven only after the resurrection. Yet the New Testament already contains, especially in the writings of St. Paul, the principle from which flow the truths later to be solemnly declared by the Catholic Church: that heaven (the intuitive vision and loving enjoyment of God) begins even before the resurrection, as soon as the soul is completely purified of sin and its effects, and that hell (definitive separation from God for those who die in personal, mortal sin) begins immediately after death. These truths are latent in the central New Testament idea that the “end times” have already begun. Life and death after Christ’s Resurrection are no longer moments in a temporal sequence; for he who lives outside Christ, though he be alive, is dead (cf. 1 Tim 5:6), while he who dies in Christ, though he be dead, lives (Jn 11:25-26). Father Kocik is a parochial vicar at Santo Christo Parish in Fall River.
March 5, 2010
Physician-assisted suicide bill finds legislators unresponsive By Deacon James N. Dunbar BOSTON — A hearing on the proposal to legalize physician assisted suicide in Massachusetts was aired at the State House on February 23. But whether legislators have any appetite for the measure, especially in this election year and after similar legislation failed recently in New Hampshire, remains to be seen. The testimony for and against drew little response from committee members and no immediate action was taken. “The committee will have to decide whether to send the bill out of committee with a favorable or unfavorable report, or otherwise place the bill in a study, a move which as a practical matter indicates the bill will likely die in committee,” reported Daniel Avila, associate director for Policy and Research of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference. “Many expect that, with this being an election year, there will be little appetite in the legislature to move forward on such a controversial issue,” Avila added. “Nonethe-
less, the assisted suicide issue will not go away.” Individuals and organizations testifying against the bill included Edward F. Saunders Jr., executive director of the MCC, the public policy voice of the four Roman Catholic bishops in the Commonwealth; Pro-Life organizations; hospice officials and disability advocates. Three individuals testified in favor after hearing news reports announcing the hearing but no organizations came forward in support, marking a big change from a hearing held in 1995 on a similar bill that drew hundreds of people to the State House, Avila pointed out. House 1468, “An Act Relative to Death with Dignity” was filed by Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton) at the request of a constituent with a terminal condition who has since passed away. In his testimony opposing the measure that would authorize physicians to provide lethal doses of medication at the request of patients with terminal conditions seeking suicide assistance, Saun-
ders asserted, “Assisting suicide is a common law crime in Massachusetts. Current law also treats all persons as possessing lives worthy of protection against harmful intervention, regardless of their condition or proximity to death and notwithstanding the good intentions of those providing the means of death.” He said that “by deeming assistance in the suicides of a class of vulnerable persons to be legally permissible, House 1468 contradicts the fundamental guarantee of inalienable rights, the first of which is the right to life. The legislation also would exempt physicians from the duty to do no harm, encouraging the violation of the Hippocratic Oath.” Citing a 1995 statement on a similar bill, the Roman Catholic Bishops in Massachusetts are strongly opposed to the legalization of assisted suicide because it is “contrary to the good of persons and contrary to the common good of this Commonwealth, “said Saunders. For “once a society allows one individual to take the life of another based on their private standards of what constitutes a life worth living, even when there is mutual agreement, there can be no safe or sure way to contain its possible consequences.”
He said the bishops recognize that “the specter of extreme pain and agony haunts many persons,” but note that “there are many means of palliative care available which will reduce pain in a licit manner.” Legalizing physician assistance with patient suicides “does not offer a legitimate solution” and instead “confuses the issues and renders them more problematic.” Though “physician-assisted suicide may provide what some would call ‘a quick fix’... what it proposes in actuality is seriously flawed and ethically intolerable.” Saunders told the assembly that the Catholic Church and its healthrelated institutions have worked and continue to cooperate with a broad array of organizations and groups seeking to provide lifeaffirming solutions in the areas of pain management, hospice care and compassionate outreach to vulnerable persons in the face of societal calls to legalize assisted suicide. Earlier this decade, the MCC joined the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Hospice & Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, disability rights organizations and other secular and religious entities in the Commonwealth in a coalition formed to educate the public about positive resources for those facing end-of-life decisions.
At the same time, the four Catholic dioceses in the Commonwealth implemented a successful statewide educational initiative on end-of-life care called In Support of Life. “House 1468 would turn the Commonwealth in the wrong direction by making the law indifferent to whether persons with terminal conditions decide to commit suicide, thus stigmatizing the entire class as not worthy of the state’s full protection and care,” said Saunders. “With health care costs continuing to rise in Massachusetts, legalizing assisted suicide would exert pressure on state agencies, insurers and providers to recommend suicide assistance to terminally ill patients requiring expensive care. In Oregon, for example, the state has encouraged terminally ill individuals to seek physician assisted suicide while at the same time the state denies them end-of-life care under Oregon’s healthcare rationing plan.” In view of the foregoing concerns, the Conference urges the Committee to give House 1468 an unfavorable report recommending that the bill ought not pass, he said. Those interested in the issue can receive an update at www. macathconf.org, as well as signing up for MCC-Net to receive email legislative alerts.
Court rules predatory IMs legal continued from page one
The unanimous Supreme Judicial Court ruling reversed the conviction of Matt H. Zubiel who had been found guilty of sending sexually explicit online messages to an undercover police officer posing as a 13-yearold girl. In 2006, Deputy Sheriff Melissa Marino posed as a minor and then participated in online conversations with Zubiel. He asked her to send him a nude photo of herself, inquired about her sexual experience and told her he would teach her “everything.” Zubiel was arrested outside the apartment building Marino told him she lived at. He admitted to wanting to have sex with the person he had been contacting online, whom he believed was a minor, and had portions of their online conversations on his computer. The prosecution argued that Zubiel’s words fell under the “visual representation” cited in the statute. The SJC found that the law was referring to pictures and not text. The court further explained that such communication could not fall under handwritten or printed material either. In its ruling, the court said, “While proscribing the activity
in this case would be consistent with a legislative intent to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, the definitions in Section 31 do not do so. If the Legislature wishes to include instant messaging or other electronically transmitted text in the definition of ‘matter’ under Section 31, it is for the Legislature, not the court, to do so.” In the footnotes, the court mentioned that in 2000 the Legislature considered amending the definition of matter to include “computer-generated writing, whether printed or electronically transmitted” but did not do so. Moran said the Legislature should now move swiftly to close this loophole. “There is no other statute to protect children from this type of activity,” he said. On February 9 Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem, D-Newton, filed legislation that would add text messages, emails and any other electronic communication to the statute. The bill is called “An act to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.” Gov. Deval Patrick, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and House chairman of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary Eu-
gene L. O’Flaherty have all said they support such a measure. Michael Avitzur, counsel for Sen. Creem, said the court’s ruling was “unexpected” and left a gaping hole in the law. “It was felt that this was already covered,” he said. The SJC’s ruling baffled many people throughout the Commonwealth. Arlene McNamee, executive director of Catholic Social Services in the Diocese of Fall River, said of the ruling, “It leaves you a little speechless.” McNamee said suggestive text sent to minors needs to be illegal, especially considering that text messaging is “a form of life to the new generation.” She added that any kind of solicitation of minors should not be permitted. Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said that in this ruling the SJC has shown insensitivity to values, particularly the protection of children. The logic of the court defies “normal human logic.” “This court considers to run roughshod over our most vulnerable citizens, our children,” he said. “They are coming up with ludicrous rulings.”
March 5, 2010
The history of the Shroud of Turin Editor’s note: This is the first back further. Ian Wilson in his of a four-part Lenten series on study of the history of the Shroud, the Shroud of Turin by Gilbert R. tells us of a French crusader by Lavoie, M.D., of Boston. the name of Robert de Clari who “Behold the Lamb of God who wrote in his diary in the first part of takes away the sin of the world” the 1200s that he saw the cloth in (John 1:29). Constantinople during the Fourth e hear this at the celebra- Crusade. Pushing back to 944 A.D. tion of the Mass and we there was evidence that the Shroud certainly reflect on these words existed; it was described in a serduring Lent. For the next four mon delivered in the Church Hagia weeks, we are going to embark Sophia in Constantinople. Further on a short study of the Shroud of back, it resurfaced again in Edessa, Turin and eventually make our a town now called Urfa, located in way back to the above quote from the southeastern part of Turkey in the Gospel of John. 544 A.D. Here it was known as the The Shroud is a linen (flax) Image of Edessa which was a cloth cloth that is 14 .3 feet long by 3.7 feet wide revealing the negative images of the The Shroud front and back of a man who was scourged and of Turin crucified. Everyone loves By Gilbert R. to debunk the Shroud of Turin; it always makes Lavoie, M.D. headlines. By the end of the series, however, you will be able to debunk the debunk- that was known to have at least a facial image, “not made by the ers. hand of man.” More than 30 years ago when A striking discovery in 1898 I became interested in the Shroud, made world news. Secondo Pia, I must admit that I was a skeptic. I was very reluctant to have anything an Italian lawyer and amateur to do with perpetuating the thought photographer, took the first official that this was the Shroud of Jesus if photograph of the Shroud. During development in the quiet of his indeed it were not. Gradually over time, however, looking at the cloth dark room, he saw something on from a forensic perspective, I came his negative plate that not only astounded him but changed forever to realize that there was truly a the understanding of the Shroud crucified man that had been taken image. The image on the photofrom the position of crucifixion, graphic negative plate was not the laid on his back (supine) on one negative that he expected but was end of this long cloth and covered the positive image of a man. This by the other end. This is no paintbrought him to another realization: ing; this was a real event that took the Shroud image itself is a negaplace in time and space. tive. The question is: How could a The history of the Shroud in negative image get on to an ancient Western culture tells us that the cloth when the concept of photogShroud arrived in Lirey, France raphy only came into existence in in the 1350s. It was the property the 19th century? of a French knight, Geoffrey de In 1933 a French surgeon, Charny, who never revealed how Pierre Barbet studied this cloth. he obtained this cloth. In the East, in Constantinople, the history goes “From a distance of less than a
yard … I suddenly experienced one of the most powerful emotions of my life. For without expecting it, I saw that all the images of the wounds were of a color quite different than that of the rest of the body. The blood itself had colored [the cloth] by direct contact, and that is why the images of the wounds are positive while all the rest [image of the body] is negative.” In contrast to the blood marks, Barbet noted that the fibers of the image were devoid of anything but the brownish fibers themselves. He went on to describe what others have confirmed after him: the swelling under the left eye, blood flows of the head consistent with a cap of thorns, scourge marks which are anatomically consistent with floggers having stood on each side of this beaten victim who had marks all over the body, especially over the back. He studied the wound on the side, and the nail wounds of the feet and at the wrist where the bones and ligaments firmly kept the man fixed to his cross. Every detail as described by Barbet is anatomically correct and is absolutely consistent with John’s description of Jesus’ scourging and crucifixion. Skeptics still call this a painting, which is contrary to the above information. By next week you will have all the ammunition you need to refute this constant headliner. Gilbert R. Lavoie, M.D., MPH, has for 30 years been doing a medical and scriptural study of the Shroud of Turin. He has published many articles, written two books, and participated in many international conferences. His video, “Unlocking the Secrets of the Shroud,” has been shown on EWTN for many years. He lives in Boston with his wife.
shrouded with mystery — Dr. Gilbert R. Lavoie in 1998 with a full-size copy of the Shroud. (Photo by Bill Green, Globe staff © 1998, the Boston Globe. Used with permission)
Rev. Msgr. John J. Oliveira, V.E. 106 Illinois St., New Bedford, MA 02745 Anchor 03/05/10
scout’s honor — Father Stephen Salvador, National Associated Director of Committee on Scouting and pastor of SS. Peter & Paul Parish, Fall River, greets the boys of Pack and Troop 50, who had their Blue & Gold and Scout Court of Honor celebrating the 100th anniversary of Scouting in the USA, on February 14. The day started with a Mass at SS. Peter & Paul Parish at Holy Cross Church as a thank-you to their sponsor and to show people that a Scout is reverent. After Mass, Scouts proceeded to the church hall and enjoyed a delicious, fellowship pot-luck meal followed by the boys receiving awards which they earned since the last Pack Meeting and Court of Honor.
March 5, 2010
patents pending — Fifth-graders at St. Mary-Sacred Heart School, North Attleboro, recently shared their completed invention projects with family, friends, and alumni of the school. As part of the project students had to make a “bug book,” a compilation of everyday problems that annoy the inventor or someone else. From this the students then came up with a solution that involved research and development of a product. After the research, a sketch of the product was drawn, required materials listed, and the invention fabricated. Once completed, students named their inventions, developed a trademark, came up with a slogan, marketed the product, and completed a patent application. Above is Ben Cortellini and his “Dust Destroyer,” and Moirie Sholes, below, displays her “Mobile Mailbox.”
Story time — Area Catholic school students recently gathered at St. Joseph School in Fairhaven to enjoy a fun morning with master storyteller, Big Ryan.
here’s no doubt about it: when a truth is difficult to accept, it challenges us. The truth, first of all, must be recognized and accepted. Let’s take, for example, the truth behind drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual abuse and gambling addiction, to name a few; all these are bad for the body and soul and will eventually lead to guilt, shame and remorse. No matter how the abuser or addict may explain or defend his behavior, he will most likely have feelings of guilt, an inner response to a wrong act; shame, a feeling of personal inadequacy in response to a wrong act; and remorse, a feeling of regret for the harm caused to others. Once these truths are recognized and accepted, what are you prepared to do to change them? If the challenge leads you to repentance, then you are heading in the right direction. “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up
March 5, 2010
What are you prepared to do?
his cross daily and follow me. wounds and grow stronger in For whoever wishes to save his our relationship with God. life will lose it, but whoever What are you prepared to loses his life for my sake will do to see God and love him save it” (Lk 9:23-24). in other persons? As human I’ve shared with you in the beings we desire to see our past how we ought to respond to loved ones on a regular basis, life’s most difficult challenges. not just once a year. The more There are three key areas to focus on: your relationship with God, your relationship with others and your relationship with yourself. If we sincerely mean By Ozzie Pacheco to begin a new life, it involves risk — the risk of confession. What are you prepared to do to have we reveal ourselves to each confidence in God in the midst other, the deeper that love of your troubles? The sacrament becomes. Are you honestly and of reconciliation is not a onesincerely able to say you love time experience because we are your neighbor as yourself? Are not one-time sinners. We need you selfish in your love, trying to discipline ourselves to receive to monopolize others, fearthis sacrament on a regular ing that their love for others basis. The sacrament not only diminishes their love for you? provides forgiveness, but also Are you honest in conversation helps us to heal our spiritual with others, willing to appear
Be Not Afraid
in a bad light rather than lie to them? Do you honor your parents and others who carry the burden of leadership in the world? You may not always agree with your parents, but trust them in their judgment — it comes only from love. Be prepared to accept that love. Everyday we are reminded of the world’s troubles; we live them and experience them. We pray for a better world and how we can begin to fix it. I asked our parish’s youth what they would do to fix the injustices of our world community. They mostly agreed that it must begin with themselves; first, by accepting the person they are, and second, by realizing that they are the very best of God’s creation. You can’t fix the world’s problems if you can’t control your own. What you are prepared to do to treat yourself with
respect and reverence? Have you mistreated your own body, God’s holy temple, through improper use of drugs, alcohol or sex? Have you excused yourself from guilt because “everyone else is doing it?” Sometimes we feel closed in and there’s nowhere to turn. But Jesus reminds us: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Mt. 7:7). Remember, you are not in this alone. God is on your side. But God does ask you not to live your life only for yourself. This will only lead to more guilt, shame and remorse. What are you prepared to do to live your life for Christ? Following him is the only way out of the messes we get into. Following him is not going to be easy, but it is the only truth that leads to forgiveness and happiness. Ozzie Pacheco is Faith Formation director at Santo Christo Parish, Fall River.
St. Vincent’s Home receives re-accreditation
life savers — Students at St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro took a training course recently on CPR. The course was administered by Lt. Brian Fournier of the Smithfield, R.I. Fire Department. Fournier is a certified cardiac EMT. Here he assists eighth-grade student, Kacey Jolly. music makers — Bishop Stang High School junior Seamus Gallagher and sophomore Emily Oliveira recently took part in the Southeastern District Senior Music Festival. Talented musicians from across the state are chosen through a rigorous audition process and form regional orchestras and choral groups. They meet to rehearse and perform over the span of one weekend. Gallagher, left, was selected as a violinist and played as a member of the orchestra, while Oliveira sang in the chorus.
FALL RIVER — St. Vincent’s Home Corporation has received notification that it has been re-accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children according to an announcement made by Jack Weldon, St. Vincent’s executive director. COA accreditation attests that an organization meets the highest national standards of best practice and is delivering the best quality services to the communities it serves. St. Vincent’s was first nationally accredited in January of 2002. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administrative operations, policies and procedures, and service delivery against national standards of best practice. All of the programs contained within an organization for which COA has a service standard are subject to review as COA reviews and accredits the entire organization, not just a single program. St. Vincent’s re-accreditation process began more than one year ago with an intensive self-study preparation, survey questionnaire sent to stakeholders, COA standards compliance and completed executive narrative for each standard, and a three-day site visit in September by the
COA review team. COA re-accreditation is an objective and reliable verification that provides confidence and support to an organization’s service recipients, board members, staff, and community partners. St. Vincent’s board member, Deborah A. Grimes of Mechanics Cooperative Bank, congratulated St. Vincent’s staff by saying: “The dedication and commitment that St. Vincent’s staff demonstrates on a daily basis is nothing short of incredible. I congratulate the staff on its efforts and
unwavering devotion to the children of St. Vincent’s.” Jack Weldon, St. Vincent’s executive director added, “The reaccreditation process is clearly not a ‘once every four year’ process. It is an on-going, consistent process of maintaining best practice standards in each program, every day. I am very appreciative of all of our staff’s efforts and commitment to quality practice. As always, the youth and families in our care are ultimately the beneficiaries of our excellent practice,” he noted.
St. Vincent’s students help earthquake victims in Haiti Fall River — For the past four months, the students of Saint Vincent’s day school have been learning about current events by reading The Fall River Herald News on daily basis. Their understanding of local, national and international current events has led them to help those in need by supporting the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Rachele Foley, St. Vincent’s Life Skills service coordinator, noted that, after a lengthy discussion in class, “The students felt compelled to give back to those less fortunate. With extra help and support from their
teachers, the students began a very enthusiastic service project,” Foley stated. By soliciting the support of St. Vincent’s staff and families, the students gathered clothing, stuffed animals, medical and hygiene supplies, shoes, and even a brand new tent. After the students had collected all of the donated items, they packed them into boxes and assisted with transporting them to a designated shipping location. “The students took great pride in knowing they were able to offer aid to the people of Haiti with this small act of compassion and kindness,” added Foley.
Wareham parishioner aims to start Serra Club in diocese continued from page one
is an international Catholic organization comprised of laity — both men and women — who work to foster and promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Named after Blessed Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan missionary who established nine missions in California in the 1700s, the Serra Club currently has more than 800 chapters in 42 countries with a total membership of more than 20,000 worldwide. While there is already a Serra Club chapter based in the Attleboro Deanery with about 25 active members, Wilk felt a diocese as large as Fall River could benefit from a second chapter in the Fall River or New Bedford area. A parishioner of St. Patrick’s Parish in Wareham, Wilk first looked to start up a Serra Club on Cape Cod, but he later realized centralizing the effort in New Bedford or Fall River made better sense. “People aren’t going to drive a long distance to come to a club meeting once a month,” he said. A previous Serra Club chapter based in the New Bedford disbanded years ago. “We’re such a secular society today that Serra Clubs have been very helpful in promoting vocations,” he said. “There used to be a club in New Bedford but all the members got old, so the club became defunct.” Wilk said he’s actively recruiting new Serra Club members — he needs at least 24 to charter a local chapter — and will soon begin reaching out to parishes throughout the diocese. “We’re looking to get the word out to priests in the diocese about what I’m doing,” he said. “It seems like there are people who want to do something to help promote vocations in the diocese, but they don’t know what to do. Having
been a Serran for the last 17 years, I think I can help. I was vice president of vocations for the Serra Club in Dallas which was very successful with about 75 members.” Father Karl Bissinger, co-director of the diocese’s vocations office, said he welcomes another diocesan Serra Club. “I think it would be a great thing,” Father Bissinger said. “Any time we have help from the laity in promoting vocations is great, because priests can only do so much.” While there won’t be any ordinations this year, Father Bissinger confirmed there are currently seven seminarians studying for the priesthood in the Fall River Diocese and he’s been in contact with several others who have expressed interest. “I know it works,” Wilk said, adding that nearby dioceses where Serra Clubs are active have all seen spikes in vocations. “Springfield has over 20 seminarian candidates and Worcester has a bunch as does Boston,” he said. “I see all religious vocations as a gift from God and since God does not discriminate, there are people out there being called. If it can be done in Denver — where they now have more than 100 in the seminary — it can be done here. The Serra Club is very active there and they’ve doubled the capacity of their seminary, so there are a lot of young men who are serious about this.” Once formed, Wilk said the Serra Club will likely work to arrange monthly meetings and plan programs within the diocese that help provide information to potential priests and nuns about various religious orders. They will also reach out to groups such as altar servers and Catholic school students. “I think 75 percent of all priests were once altar servers,” Wilk
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said. “If you have a family letting their son or daughter become an altar server, that’s a good indication. Catholic schools are another: people are paying so much to send their children to the schools so if we can get information to these people they might at least think about a possible religious vocation.” Regular monthly club meetings will include Mass and probably a breakfast featuring a guest speaker — a priest, bishop or member of a religious order discussing vocations. “In Dallas, once a year we would invite the altar servers from all the parishes to have a dinner program for them with their parents,” Wilk said. “The bishop was there and we gave them medals and talked about vocations.” He said another possible focal point would be World Youth Day slated for August 2011 in Madrid, Spain. “We found out that over 1,000 priests currently in the United States went to previous World Youth Days,” Wilk said. “Not all of them went, obviously, but many of them who maybe weren’t sure of their calling went to World Youth Day to solidify their vocation and now they are priests. Our parish is trying to raise some money so we can hopefully send some people to World Youth Day in August 2011 when the pope will be there.” Wilk said Bishop Coleman recently sent letters to all the parishes in the diocese identifying him and endorsing his effort to start the Serra Club. “That gets my foot in the door,” he said. “Now I’m hoping to contact them each directly.” He’s already made a presentation at a couple of Cape-based parishes, including St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in North Falmouth. While the diocese already has an established vocations office and parish priests are always on the look out for potential seminary candidates, Wilk said it’s difficult for them to devote ample time to vocations. “They’re doing a lot of spiritual outreach to everybody but from our perspective they’re not doing enough to promote vocations,” Wilk said. “The Serra Club can provide support, prayers and activities to help them. “I know priests in the diocese
March 5, 2010 believe in their ministry and want to promote vocations. We’re trying to find a man like them sitting out in the pews of their church and bring them to the priesthood.” In the meantime, Wilk asked everyone in the diocese to pray for the success of the new Serra Club endeavor. “We all need prayers,” he said. “Eventually I’d like for us to have a
single vocation prayer for the entire diocese — almost like an ‘Our Father.’ This would be the Fall River Vocation Prayer. I think something like that would be very helpful.” Those interested in joining the new Serra Club should contact John Wilk at 781-878-4624 (work), 508-224-1614 (home), 617-799-8276 (cell) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SMILES mentors bring gifts to students continued from page one
Currently the initiative has 600 volunteer mentors involved in 25 area public schools in New Bedford, Fall River, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Norton, and newly in Westport. “Each mentor is committed to spending an hour a week in a school during one academic year with a student or in a group — in various grades — being a positive role model or friend,” Rivera added. They are not a parent, or legal guardian nor social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist. And while few are professional teachers, there are graduate students in education from UMassDartmouth, who are currently among the mentors. Although there is a “faith” sector of the local partnership — the Council of Churches — that founded SMILES, and most of the current mentors are Catholics, mentors “don’t teach religion, or academics, but may be involved coaching students in grades one and two to read better in our literacy program,” Rivera explained. “However, there is often a very close relationship that is formed by the mentors that finds the young student seeing the mentor as someone they aspire to be like,” she added. Lynn Poyant, assistant director of SMILES, said “I’m awed by how much the mentors give of themselves to help others. I watch them deliver so much care and concern. It’s wonderful and humbling to see them draw from their beliefs and philosophies, without any thought of the sacrifices I know they’re making to accomplish the goal.” While there are few clergy or religious currently in SMILES, Father John M. Sullivan, pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Wareham, said that having been a mentor in the SMILES initiative for two years “was interesting, challenging, and offered the opportunity to demonstrate how personal stewardship can involve a wider community than just the parish.” For the school years of 2006 through 2008 he mentored a seventh- and eighth-grade male student at Normandin Junior High School in New Bedford. “As a priest and pastor, it was too difficult to be committed to morning classes, so my hour each week was done at the school in its after-school program,” he said.
“The guidance involved what the young man might follow as his secular vocation and what his career goals or profession might be, and what he would do to realized his potentials, his goals,” Father Sullivan explained. He said that the youth, whose family was immigrant Portuguese, and Catholic, “already had a good support system at home and understood the need for education for their son to be successful and live a fruitful life. But the teen years are challenging, and I think the SMILES program in providing mentors for a whole range of topics — including reading skills — is very important and beneficial.” Having a priest in the mentoring initiative also proved fruitful “in a sense bringing God into the wider community.” “Sometimes the time was spent within a group setting and the presence of a priest showed how clergy can effectively use their God-given talents and treasures outside the confines of their parish. That contribution — one might call it a kind of almsgiving we’re asked to practice in Lent — was seen, and appreciated.” He said there were many Catholics among the mentors he worked with, “all giving of their time and skills in pairing with students with various needs, all contributing to better school attendance, grades, behavior and preventing school dropouts.” For retired Holy Union Sister Ruth Curry, who lives at The Landmark in Fall River, being a mentor to a shy, first grader at the Green Elementary School in Fall River, who has a problem learning to read, “is right up my alley,” she told The Anchor. “I taught reading to first graders at Holy Name School in Fall River for 15 years, and so I’m in my experience field and being myself in mentoring,” she said. “It demands patience, which is a virtue, and I have always been a patient person. Besides helping my student to read better, I hope and pray she will develop the patience she finds in me. It will prove very helpful throughout her lifetime.” To volunteer or to seek information call Elizett Pires at 508999-9300, email email@example.com.
Accident allows priest to reflect on life, Lent continued from page one
Although Mass was celebrated by a visiting priest, by February 6 he was back sitting in the sanctuary with his arm in a sling. “I sat in the sanctuary for the Vigil Mass so that people could see that I was recuperating nicely,” Father Davignon said. “After Mass I spoke to the young man and his father and reassured them of my continuing recovery.” While he sustained serious injuries, Father Davignon said he felt blessed to have survived what could have been a fatal accident. “At the time of the accident I was wearing the brown scapular in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,” he said. “From the very beginning of this horrifying happening, I felt that the Virgin Mary had saved me from death or even more serious injury. I have expressed this many times.” During this Lenten season of sacrifice and repentance, Father Davignon admitted the experience has also given him reason to pause and reflect on his own life and spirituality. “Since this accident, I have had a lot of time to reflect on things that I have taken for granted, such as overall good health and my need as a priest and pastor to truly mean and live my prayer life as a Christian,” he said. “I try to begin each day with my morning offering which is as follows: “Almighty God, I offer you my body, my soul, all that I am, all that I shall do or suffer this day for your glory and my salvation and the salvation of others, in union with Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” He also accepts the accident as his own cross to bear. “As Christians and part of the Mystical Body of Christ, each of us, through baptism, has this wonderful opportunity of joining our suffering and mishaps to Jesus’ suffering for our own salvation and the salvation of others,” Father Davignon said. “I have often quoted St. Paul, Colossians 1:24, who wrote, ‘I fill up in my own body what is lacking in the suffering of Christ.’ As Catholic Chris-
In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks March 9 Rev. Msgr. Henry J. Noon, V.G., Pastor, St. James, New Bedford; Vicar General, 1934-47, 1947 March 12 Rev. Aurelien L. Moreau, Pastor, St. Mathieu, Fall River, 1961 Rev. Adrien E. Bernier, Pastor, St. Mathieu, Fall River, 1989 Rev. George I. Saad, Retired Pastor, Our Lady of Purgatory, New Bedford, 1991 Rev. Callistus Bamberg, OFM, Former Teacher at Bishop Stang High School, 2009
March 5, 2010
tians, no suffering is meaningless; it is an opportunity to share in our salvation and that of others. “I have fallen short many times, but with God’s grace, as I get older, hopefully I shall be more faithful.” Father Davignon also said there’s a lesson to be gleaned from his experience. “I have always been careful to follow pedestrian rules for walking; but no matter how careful one thinks he is, anything can happen over which one has no control,” he said. “One must be always spiritually ready for any life-threatening happening.”
Father Davignon is recuperating nicely in his Osterville parish rectory and is slowly returning to some of his pastoral duties. He also recently started a series of physical therapy sessions to get his arm and shoulder back in shape so he can once again administer the sacraments. “The outpouring of love and concern for me during this whole ordeal has brought tears to my eyes many times,” he said. “I thank everyone for all their love and support and ask them to please continue their prayers for the parish, the young man and his family, and for my family and me.”
Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese Acushnet — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays end with Evening Prayer and Benediction at 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays end with Benediction at 2:45 p.m. ATTLEBORO — St. Joseph Church holds perpetual eucharistic adoration in the Adoration Chapel located at the (south) side entrance at 208 South Main Street. For open hours, or to sign up, call Liesse at 401-864-8539. 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.
Around the Diocese 3/5
The Acushnet Wesley United Methodist Church Women celebrate the 123rd Ecumenical World Day of Prayer at 67 Main Street, Acushnet, tonight from 7:30-9 p.m. The Church Women United Ecumenical Choir will lead the music and Scriptures will be read in French as well as other languages of New Bedford’s cultural heritage. Persons of French-Canadian and Haitian descent will assist in leading the singing. All are welcome.
A Day with Mary will take place tomorrow from 7:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at St. John of God Parish, 996 Brayton Avenue, Somerset. The day will include a video, instruction, procession and crowning of the Blessed Mother, Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and an opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation. For more information, call 508-984-1823.
The Legion of Mary of the Fall River Diocese will hold the 58th annual “Acies” consecration ceremony on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River. Bishop George W. Coleman will officiate and Father Barry Wall will give the allocutio. The Acies will include the recitation of the rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. For information about the event or the Legion of Mary, contact Father Wall at 508-679-1408.
The next meeting of the Catholic Cancer Support Group will be March 9 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Victory Parish, 230 South Street, Centerville. The meeting will start in the church with a Mass and anointing of the sick, followed by a social and sharing in the parish center. For more information, call 508-771-1106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A night of recollection in celebration of the Year For Priests and the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney will take place at St. Francis Xavier Church, Acushnet, March 9 from 6-8:30 p.m. Featured speakers include Fathers Roger J. Landry; Ron Floyd; Andrew Johnson, OSCS; and Jay Mello; and a Mass celebrated by Msgr. Gerrard O’Connor. Confessions will be heard from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m.
A Healing Mass will be held at St. Anne’s Church, South Main Street, Fall River, on March 11 beginning with recitation of the rosary at 6 p.m. followed by Mass at 6:30 p.m. with Benediction and healing prayers after Mass.
The next meeting of Separated and Divorced Catholics will be March 14 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Christ the King Parish Center, Mashpee Commons, Mashpee. Msgr. Daniel Hoye will speak on “Annulments.” No registration is necessary. For more information, contact Mary Ann at email@example.com.
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.
St. Julie Billiart Parish, 494 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth will present Jim Carlini speaking on “The Conflict Between Faith and Science: Myth or Reality?” on March 14 at 7 p.m. in the parish center. All are welcome to attend and a Q&A session will follow. For more information call 508-993-2351, extension 109, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The Irish Step Dancers from the Haley School of Dance will perform with Noel Henry’s Irish Show Band at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, Attleboro, March 14 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. For more information visit lasalette-shrine. org or call 508-222-5410.
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. MASHPEE — Christ the King Parish, Route 151 and Job’s Fishing Road has 8:30 a.m. Mass every First Friday with special intentions for Respect Life, followed by 24 hours of eucharistic adoration in the Chapel, concluding with Benediction Saturday morning followed immediately by an 8:30 Mass. NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic adoration takes place 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 233 County Street, with night prayer and Benediction at 8:45 p.m., and confessions offered during the evening. NEW BEDFORD — There is a daily holy hour from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue. It includes adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the rosary, and the opportunity for confession. 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 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 Cape and Islands Prayer Group Deanery will host a Day of Recollection on March 18 at the Sacred Hearts Retreat Center, Wareham. Father Stan Kolasa, SS.CC., will present “Rejoice Always, Pray Without Ceasing.” The day will begin at 8:45 a.m. with registration and coffee, followed by presentations, confessions, lunch, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and ending with Mass at 3 p.m.
March 5, 2010
Some things just shouldn’t be whacked with a stick
hen my three offspring were just rug rats, birthdays were so simple. There was a small gathering of other rug rats, a cake, an inexpensive yet greatly appreciated gift, and of course a piñata, filled with goodies waiting to be extracted with a good whack from a stick. Well, Emilie is now well into her teenage years and now those simple birthdays have become requests for iPods, smart phones and perhaps a Lexus. Back in the day, we used to buy our birthday celebration supplies from some place called the Mega Birthday Warehouse or something like that. Years later we’re still on their mailing list, and the
latest catalogue recently arrived in my array of characters and paraphernalia ... mailbox. until we came to the piñata pages. It was Just for kicks, Emilie and I thought it then when our joy morphed into gasps would be fun to of horror and peruse the pages disbelief. and see what’s Remember, new in the piñatas are world of kiddie meant to be party land. whacked with Themes seem blunt objects to be the mantra until they spill By Dave Jolivet today. Kits their “guts.” containing cups, There, in plates, hats, and full color was favors revolving around a kid’s TV or a piñata of our beloved Mickey Mouse. movie hero are all the rage. Mickey Mouse. Who in their right mind We chuckled gleefully at the wide can whack the world’s most famous, fun, and friendly mouse with a stick? Other equally disturbing pictures appeared: piñatas of Elmo, Dora the Explorer, My Little Pony, Winnie the Pooh, SpongeBob, Curious George, and Scooby-Doo. Who can whack ScoobyDoo? There was even a Hello Kitty piñata. Now it’s no secret that I’m not a feline fan, but even I couldn’t take a stick to Hello Kitty. There was a Hannah Montana piñata although that didn’t upset me all that much. The only consolation was
My View From the Stands
that there wasn’t a Minnie Mouse piñata. Somewhere, at some time, the whole piñata ritual has gone sour. They should be inanimate objects like fruits, vegetables, cars, buildings, New York Yankees, anything but Mickey Mouse and friends. When Emilie was younger, she had an elephant-themed party, including a spectacular elephant birthday cake, baked, shaped and iced by yours truly. All the attendees received a cute little elephant Beanie Baby. And there was an elephant piñata which Emilie refused to hang out to dry, so to speak. She just about shielded with her own body, so we had to remove the booty through the small opening in its belly. She still has it today. An elephant was bad enough, but Mickey Mouse? I’ve hated to watch all my kiddies grow up. It seems they’ve gotten older, but I’m still ready for a rousing game of Chutes and Ladders. But after witnessing the latest Mega Birthday Warehouse catalogue, I’m grateful I don’t have to subject them to such disturbing “birthday fun.” Suddenly, a Lexus doesn’t seem so far-fetched. But don’t tell Emilie that — she turns 16 next year.
plans for priests — Finalizing plans for a Year For Priests prayer service to be held for priests in the Fall River Deanery March 18 at 7 p.m., at St. Louis de France Church in Swansea, are front, from left: Pauline M. Vezina, president of District I; and cochairman Muriel Patenaude. Back: Maddy Lavoie; Claudette Armstrong; and cochairman Lynette Ouellette. The event will include prayers for priests, an introduction of the priests present at the event, and reflections on what it means to be a priest. If any priest from the Fall River Deanery, active or retired, did not receive an invitation, or wishes to acknowledge they will attend, they are asked to contact Ouellette at 508674-7036 or by email at email@example.com by March 8.
Published on Dec 7, 2010