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Newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

The Catholic Spirit

Trusting one greater Catholic recording artist Matt Maher to perform at St. Paul’s Outreach young adult event Aug. 9 in Minneapolis


News with a Catholic heart

August 2, 2012

Sing out your


Melanie Konieczka, center, from Corpus Christi parish in Bismarck, N.D., raises her arms during a praise and worship song at the Steubenville North youth conference July 28 at the University of St. Thomas.

See story on page 13. Dianne Towalski / The Catholic Spirit


Crib donation was seed for ministry Bridging marks 25 years of providing furniture to clients in need — Page 3

Black Catholics celebrate faith

Reclaiming civility

Three-day event in Indianapolis features prayer, music, challenging talks — Page 6

Poll confirms what many Americans perceive about the tone of today’s political discourse — Page 9

Olympics Mass time to reflect Like the games’ athletes, everyone can glorify God, archbishop says — Page 7

Running for life Group trains runners for marathons and spreads pro-life message — Page 20



What does it mean to be ‘Church’?

That They May All Be One Archbishop John C. Nienstedt

We need time to ‘rest in the Lord’ and ponder the bigger questions of life

I am writing this column after two weeks of vacation. It has been a quiet time of praying, reading, meditating, visiting friends, exercising, watching videos and sleeping. I knew it had been a successful vacation when my chiropractor told me he had not seen my back so regularly aliened in a long time! Ah, to be freed from the stress of life’s challenges! From this perspective, I hope that you, too, are able to get some “down” time this summer before the rush of activities begins again at the end of August. Above all, we need time to “rest in the Lord” . . . to rise above the forest and take in the symmetry of the trees. To ponder questions about our destiny, our vocation, our relationships with our neighbor, especially those who join us in making up the Body of Christ.

“The effectiveness of our

witness to the faith is being strongly challenged these days. But to defend what we believe, we must first know what it is that we do believe. The Magisterium is a great gift that helps provide an answer to such an important question.

Encountering the Word For my own part, my thoughts have been turning of late to what it means to be “Church.” These are reflections not merely of a theoretical or theological perspective, but more on an existential level, i.e., what is my experience of Church? How do I see my role as a member of the Church? It is, after all, in the assembly of the “Church” that I encounter the living, dynamic Word of God. That Word is more than an audible expression of thought. It is rather a Person who, in fact, reveals the face of God to me. Do I see that? Do I experience it? If not, what can I do differently to make my contact with the Word a real encounter with that Person? Perhaps I need to make the Scriptures a greater part of my daily prayer. Perhaps I should read over the Scriptures before going to Sunday Mass. In any event, I must ask myself how this living Word, inspired and sustained by the Holy Spirit, can make more of a difference in my life.

The Catholic Spirit


This leads me to consider and reaffirm how the dogmas of the Creed are not some formulas that are extrinsic to, or in addition to, the Scriptures. Rather, they are the common threads of truth that weave their way throughout the scriptural texts. These threads remind us with great forcefulness that life is not a “self-project,” a drama of self-definition which is the result of our own ingenuity and effort. Rather, our life was created by a loving God, who has offered us redemption and release from our own selfPLEASE TURN TO CATECHISM ON PAGE 19

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The Catholic Spirit’s mission is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It seeks to inform, educate, evangelize and foster a spirit of community within the Catholic Church by disseminating news in a professional manner and serving as a forum for discussion of contemporary issues. Vol. 17 — No. 15 MOST REVEREND JOHN C. NIENSTEDT Publisher SARAH MEALEY Associate publisher


Materials credited to CNS copyrighted by Catholic News Service. All other materials copyrighted by Catholic Spirit Publishing Company. Subscriptions: $29.95 per year Senior 1-year: $24.95

Saturday 10–10, Sunday 11–6 Along the Mississippi River Across from Riverplace & St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis

To subscribe: (651) 291-4444 Display Advertising: (651) 291-4444 Classified advertising: (651) 290-1631 Published bi-weekly by the Catholic Spirit Publishing Company, a non-profit Minnesota Corporation, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102 (651) 291-4444, FAX (651) 291-4460. Periodicals postage paid at St. Paul, MN, and additional post offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Catholic Spirit, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102. e-mail: USPS #093-580

Hearing Tests Set for Senior Citizens Announcement — Free electronic hearing tests will be given all next week Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. The tests have been arranged for anyone who suspects they are not hearing clearly. People who generally feel they can hear, but cannot understand words clearly are encouraged to come in for the test, which uses the latest electronic equipment. Everyone, especially those over age 55 should have an electronic hearing test once

a year. Demonstrations of the latest devices to improve clarity of speech will be programmed using a computer to your particular needs — on the spot — after the tests. See (and HEAR) for yourself if newlydeveloped methods of correction will help you understand words better. Tests will be performed at one of 20 convenient Greater Twin Cities Avada Hearing Care locations.

Call 1-877-328-9161 ©2012 HHM, Inc. 304

Official His Excellency, the Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, has announced the following appointments in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Effective July 18, 2012 Reverend Vincechan Kochuparambil, CMI, granted the faculties of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Departures Reverend Stephan Kappler, completes his internship at the Hamm Clinic on August 30, 2012, and will begin an internship at the Southdown Institute in Ontario, Canada. Reverend Thomas Pham, CSsR, reassigned from the Redemptorist Community at Saint Alphonsus effective August 15, 2012. The following will also take effect on August 1, 2012: The canonical merger of the Church of Saint Mary of the Purification of Marystown, Minnesota, and the Church of St. Mark, of Shakopee, Minnesota, into the Church of St. Mary of Shakopee, Minnesota.

Registration filling up for Archdiocesan Youth Day, Sept. 15 The Catholic Spirit A capacity crowd of 900 youth is expected to attend Archdiocesan Youth Day next month at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, and the large number of participants comes as no surprise to Bill Dill, the a rc h d i o c e s e ’s youth ministry events coordinator. In addition to the strong effort by pastors and youth ministers to promote the Sept. 15 event, Twin Cities-area youth are hungry for the opportunity to share and learn more about their faith, he said. “Young people want to know God. They’re looking for something both exciting and deeply fulfilling,” Dill said. “The Lord is calling them, and our youth are responding.” “This will be the biggest turnout we’ve had for an archdiocesan youth event in as long as I can remember,” he added. “It’s very exciting.” While initial registration numbers are at capacity for the event, youth are still encouraged to register with their parish for the gathering because spots may open up. Archdiocesan Youth Day, organized for high school students with the theme “Reason for Hope” (a reference to 1 Peter 3:15), will feature a full day with Archbishop John Nienstedt, Mass, music, food, testimonials, adoration, Benediction and speakers, including youth ministers and Father Michael Schmitz, director of youth/young adult ministry in the Diocese of Duluth. For more information, visit the archdiocese’s website at WWW.ARCHSPM.ORG.

“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16

Local News from around the archdiocese

AUGUST 2, 2012



Crib donation was seed for ministry to families in need Bridging marks 25 years of providing furniture, household goods to clients

How to donate Bridging accepts the following new or gently used furniture and household goods: living room, dining room and bedroom furniture; kitchen essentials; small essentials such as towels, pillows, lamps and small appliances. For a complete list, visit WWW.BRIDGING.ORG. Donations are accepted at both warehouses Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sunday. ■ Bloomington site: 201 West 87th Street. ■ Roseville site: 1633 Terrace Drive. Pick-ups can also be scheduled (for a fee); check the website for more details, or call (952) 888-1105. Financial donations are always welcome. If you are interested in volunteering for Bridging, visit the website to learn more. — Julie Pfitzinger

By Julie Pfitzinger For The Catholic Spirit

The baby who received the first crib that unofficially launched Bridging at Pax Christi in Eden Prairie is now a twentysomething. Fran Heitzman, former maintenance man at the church, was given the crib by a parishioner who thought it might be useful for the church nursery. No Works of one, including Heitzman, would ever have predicted that 25 years later, Bridging would be providing furniture, household items, and, yes, cribs to families in need. Last month, the non-profit organization, now the largest furniture bank in North America, was poised to serve its 60,000th family. “Never ever in my wildest dreams,” said Heitzman, 87, who founded Bridging in 1987 and still remains an active volunteer at the Bloomington warehouse. (There is a second site in Roseville). After calling Catholic Charities about that crib and hearing how grateful they were for the donation, Heitzman said he started thinking about a simple idea — gathering quality items from people who didn’t need them anymore for people who did. “Pretty soon, word got around and I had stuff stored all over the church,” said


Heitzman. “Our pastor [at the time] . . . told me I was starting a ministry, but I didn’t really even know what that meant.” Before long, warehouse space was donated by a Pax Christi parishioner, everything was moved out of the church and Heitzman started using “an old beat-up truck and an old potato chip van” for transporting the furniture and other items. A ministry was born.

referred by social service agencies to Bridging have an annual income of less than $15,000 per year — more than half the families have children.

Caring for neighbors

Families who are referred to Bridging work directly with a volunteer during their visit who helps them navigate the warehouse and find the furniture and other household goods that meet their needs. All items are available to families free of charge.

A veteran sales representative, now retired, Arseneau enjoys working directly with the clients. “There are many times when people come in and they seem very depressed and weary,” he said. “Things haven’t been real good for them. We work with them, help them find what they need, and when they are finished, I can tell they feel like they have accomplished something.” Volunteers at Bridging (more than 6,000 each year, from young people to seniors) place a premium on showing respect for every client, something that has always been paramount for Heitzman. “We treat people with dignity because they deserve that. Every one of us could

Jerry Arseneau has been a volunteer at the Bloomington warehouse since 2001.


Dianne Towalski / The Catholic Spirit

Bridging founder Fran Heitzman, left, long-time volunteer Jerry Arseneau and current executive director Sara Sternberger show off one of the hundreds of donated chairs and couches that clients can choose from in the organization’s Bloomington warehouse.

More than 87 percent of the households

CORN DAYS Church of St. George Long Lake, MN

Aug. 11 & 12, 2012 Sat. 1-11 p.m.; Sun. 12-5 p.m. Enjoy a variety of fun family activities including kids & teen games, live music, food & beverages, bingo, silent auction, and much more!

Mexican Pancake Parade Sunday Fiesta Breakfast 12:00 p.m. Saturday 5:00-7:30 p.m.

Sunday 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

(952) 473-1247

For more information call or visit St. George is located 4 blocks south of Cty. Rd. 112 (Old Hwy. 12) on corner of Brown Rd. and Watertown Rd. in Long Lake

Immaculate Conception Church and School Parish Festival

Fun Fest-Summer Jam 2012 August 10-12, 2012

Friday: 5-10 pm • Saturday: 4:30-10:30 pm Sunday: 11 am-4:30 pm

Free Admission Live music each day: “High and Mighty” on Friday “Rubber Soul” (Beatles Tribute Band) on Saturday “In The Fields” on Sunday Outdoor Mass: 10 am Sunday with Fr. John Mitchell Bingo in the church hall • Silent Auction • Raffle • Ping Pong and Cribbage Tournaments Kids Games and Inflatables • MSMA Car Show Sunday Noon-3 Food and Beverages: Italian on Friday, Juicy Lucy’s, Pork Sandwiches, Cheese Curds, and more all weekend • Sunday French Toast Breakfast 9-11:30 am

4030 Jackson St NE Columbia Heights, MN 55421 Contact Info: • 763-788-9062

Thank you to our Platinum and Gold Sponsors Agro-K • ROC Commercial Cleaning • Right Touch House Cleaning • Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels • St. Anthony Mobil • Northeast Bank • Methven-Taylor Funeral Homes • Tasty Pizza




Talks raise awareness about homelessness By Dianne Towalski The Catholic Spirit

Catholic Charities chief executive officer Tim Marx has been presenting “Catholic Charities 101” programs at parishes around the archdiocese to help the public better understand the extent of homelessness locally, what the organization is doing and how people can help. The number of homeless in Minnesota increased 25 percent from 2006 to 2009, up to an estimated 13,000 people


on any given night, according to a Wilder Foundation study done every three years. “Fifty percent of [Catholic Charities’] resources are now used for managing people in their crisis, just keeping them alive,” Marx said. “And when you’re doing that you’re not doing a very good job of getting people out of poverty or preventing it,” he said. The organization is experienced at getting people out of poverty, but it needs help in the form of donations, prayer and getting the word out to help make the problem manageable.


Catholic Charities helps those most in need in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It helps individuals and families, regardless of faith, reach their full potential, while calling for justice in the community.

Who it serves Homeless and in distress, immigrants and refugees, children and older adults

Core values Catholic Charities’ mission is rooted in Christian faith and the seven principles of Catholic ssocial teaching:

The next Catholic Charities 101 program Tuesday, Aug. 14 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. or noon to 1 p.m. At Christ the King 5029 Zenith Ave. S., Minneapolis Register at, by Aug. 10


Did you know

Life and Dignity of the human person Rights and responsibilities Care for creation Dignity of work and the rights of workers Preferential option for the poor Solidarity Call to family, community and participation

”We envision a community where there is poverty for no one and opportunity for everyone.” Tim Marx

What would later become Catholic Charities has actually served the Twin Cities area since the 1860s when it cared for orphans from the “orphan trains” that transported children from crowded cities like New York City and Boston to willing foster homes across the country between 1854 and 1929.

The Numbers . . . 11,823 Volunteers contributed


hours of service to Catholic Charities in the last year


Total people helped by Catholic Charities last year


Provide shelter for nearly 1,900 per night

535 employees in 17 buildings run 40 programs on a $40+ million budget

Moving into the future . . . On June 7, 2012, Catholic Charities celebrated the grand opening of Higher Ground in Minneapolis. This new model in helping the homeless into permanent housing offers shelter, a pay-for-stay floor, as well as efficiency apartments. Social services, computer labs and community gathering spaces are also a part of this new space.

How to help

Donate, Pray, Volunteer at a shelter, Talk about it, don’t be afraid of people in distress, Call legislators and ask them to start talking about the problem of homelessness

Obituary Father Roedel served archdiocese for 53 years Father Richard Roedel, who retired from active ministry in 2009, died July 16. He was 80 years old. Father Roedel was born April 9, 1932 and ordained a priest February 22, 1959. Parishes he served included St. Thomas in St. Thomas, St. Scholastica in Heidelberg, St. Joseph in Lexington, St. John the Baptist in Savage, Immaculate Heart of Mary in St. Paul, St. Anne in Le Sueur and Our Lady of the Prairie in Belle Plaine. He taught at Nazareth Hall minor seminary for 11 years. A graduate of DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Father Roedel attended seminary at St. Thomas College, Nazareth Hall and St. Paul Seminary. The Mass of Christian Burial was July 20 at Our Lady of the Prairie, with interment was at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Belle Plaine.

Bridging is scheduling community stops through December CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 be in their shoes,” said Heitzman. “It is a privilege to work with them.” Executive director Sara Sternberger said the past two years have brought an increase in the number of clients who have been homeless at some point during the 12 months prior to their Bridging visit. “Fran’s philosophy has always been that we are called to take care of our neighbors. We don’t judge anyone that comes through our door,” she said.

Community stops scheduled To commemorate the organization’s anniversary this year, Sternberger said in addition to their annual spring and fall drives at many local churches, Bridging is scheduling 25 community stops from now through December at churches, companies, corporate partners and faith-based organizations where items will be collected. (See box on page 3 for more information about items accepted at Bridging and ways to donate). Sternberger said Bridging “also fits so well into the green movement” as many donors welcome the opportunity to give their items a second life and not have them discarded into a landfill. If Bridging receives donations they are unable to use, Sternberger said those items are passed along to organizations like St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Heitzman, who refers to himself as “the chief cook and bottle washer” at Bridging, never misses an opportunity to talk about the organization and its mission, and he is always very grateful when he meets past Bridging clients. “I was at church with one of my sons not long ago and a woman in front of us recognized me from Bridging,” he said. “She was sitting with her teenage daughter and told me this girl had received one of our beds when she was young.” “I think of all the people who are living better because Bridging is here,” he continued. “This is my motto: when good people get together to do good things, good things happen.”



State Supreme Court dismisses repressed memory lawsuit

Enforcement of contraceptive mandate blocked for Catholic-run business

The Catholic Spirit

Catholic News Service

The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a clergy abuse lawsuit July 25, rejecting the plaintiff’s claim that the case was not subject to the state’s six-year statute of limitations because he had repressed memories of the alleged abuse. The ruling upholds a district judge’s original dismissal of the case in 2010 when he ruled against the reliability of repressed memory claims. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona were named as defendants in the lawsuit filed in 2006 on behalf of James Keenan, who said he was abused by former Catholic priest Thomas Adamson in the 1980s while Adamson was serving at Risen Savior in Burnsville. Adamson, who served in both the archdiocese and Winona diocese, was removed from public ministry in 1984. In a statement released July 26, the archdiocese said abuse claims made about Adamson in a press conference the day after the Supreme Court’s ruling have been public for more than two decades.

“The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis deeply regrets any pain or harm caused by Adamson,” the statement said. “As we have stated over the past two decades, we are very sorry for any mistakes made in the handling of this situation.” The statement added that the archdiocese is committed to ensuring the safety of children and young people and continues to implement the requirements of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002. The requirements include background checks of adults who serve with minors as well as training for priests, religious, lay staff, teachers, coaches, volunteers and children in Catholic schools and religious education programs. Mandatory reporting of instances of clergy or lay sexual misconduct is a policy followed throughout the archdiocese. Anyone with knowledge of sexual misconduct in a parish is encouraged to call the proper authorities or notify the archdiocese by calling (651) 291-4497.

You Are Invited To An

OPEN HOUSE & CELEBRATION Thursday, August 23, 2012 2:00-6:00 p.m. Open House 3:00-3:30 p.m. Ritual and Program Please join us in celebration and thanksgiving for our new “dear neighbors.” Enjoy live music, prayer, summer-time treats, tours and more! 525 Fairview Avenue South St. Paul, MN 55116 Parking is available in the O’Shaughnessy lot at St. Catherine University off Fairview Avenue. Please follow signs.

A shared ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Presbyterian Homes & Services.

651-695-5000 All faiths welcome. Equal housing opportunity. ©2012 Presbyterian Homes and Services

Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ, Artist


A Colorado firm owned by a Catholic family won a temporary injunction July 27 against enforcement of the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate. Senior Judge John L. Kane Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado said the HHS requirement that employers provide contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilizations free of charge to their employees, even if they have objections based on their religious beliefs, has potential for violating the family’s religious freedom. He said the government’s arguments in favor of the contraceptive mandate “are countered, and indeed outweighed, by the public interest in the free exercise of religion.”

Ruling focuses on single case But Kane emphasized that his ruling only applied to the case brought by five members of the Newland family and the company they own, Hercules Industries, a manufacturer of heating and air-conditioning equipment that has 265 full-time employees in Colorado. “The government’s arguments are largely premised upon a fear that granting an exemption to plaintiffs will necessarily require granting similar injunction to all other for-profit, secular corporations voic-

ing religious objections to the preventive care coverage mandate,” the judge wrote. “This injunction is, however, premised upon the alleged substantial burden on plaintiffs’ free exercise of religion — not to any alleged burden on any other party’s free exercise of religion. “It does not enjoin enforcement of the preventive care coverage mandate against any other party,” he added.

First successful challenge The ruling marked the first positive outcome in the nearly two dozen lawsuits brought by Catholic dioceses, religious organizations and employers against the HHS contraceptive mandate, which takes effect Aug. 1 for health insurance plans that are not grandfathered. Federal judges in the District of Columbia and Lincoln, Neb., have dismissed similar suits filed by Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina and the attorneys general of seven states, respectively, saying that the plaintiffs had not proven that they would be harmed by the mandate. The Obama administration granted a one-year “temporary enforcement safe harbor” to religious organizations that do not qualify for a religious exemption under the administration’s fourpronged test. The test requires exempt organizations to serve and hire only members of their own faith, among other things.

“We are the universal family of God — one family, drawn from every race and nation.” Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, at a recent Mass for immigrants




News from around the U.S. and the globe

AUGUST 2, 2012

Native Americans say canonization brings them full circle as Catholics By Angela Cave Catholic News Service

CNS photo / Lawrence Chatagnier, Bayou Catholic

Attendees at the National Black Catholic Congress XI sing July 19 during the gathering in Indianapolis. The threeday event attracted 2,500 black Catholics from across the United States.

Black Catholics celebrate faith in Indy By Sean Gallagher Catholic News Service

Hands were raised in prayer, and gospel music echoed in a large ballroom at the J.W. Marriott Hotel July 19 as some 2,500 attendees from across the country gathered for the start of the National Black Catholic Congress XI in Indianapolis. Deacon Lawrence Houston, who ministers at St. Peter Claver Parish in New Orleans, was attending a congress for the first time. He said his positive experience in the opening session “started with the music.” “It just touched my spirit,” Deacon Houston said. “And just to be among so many African-Americans who know who they are as Christians and . . . are not afraid to let people know that we are black and we are Catholic, and that there’s no separation in that, was a powerful thing.”

Responding to issues The congress was founded in 1889, and met several times until the late 1890s. It did not meet again until 1987 in Washington and has met every five years since then. Dominican Father Reginald Whitt, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, gave the opening address. He spoke about the early meetings of the congress in the late 19th century, and how they discussed why black Catholics should respond to racism in the broader society, in the church and to the need for better education for their children. “Some of those issues persist,” Father Whitt said. “Some assert themselves anew. And black Catholics must constantly and repeatedly confront them.” He then reflected on the re-emergence of a distinctly black Catholic identity following the Second Vatican Council, especially with the U.S. black bishops issuing in 1984 the pastoral letter “What We Have Seen and

Heard,” which showed that black Catholics “had come of age in the church.” “We were authentically black,” Father Whitt said. “We were truly Catholic. And, hence, we were called to evangelization. Thus began the current era of the Black Catholic Congress.” Father Whitt also reflected on the fact that black Catholics are a small minority within the larger black community in the U.S., making up approximately 5 percent of the black population. He pointed to the many blessings that blacks receive through the Catholic Church, especially in the sacraments and particularly in the Eucharist. “The sacrifice of the Mass is the highest form of worship we can offer on earth to God,” he said. “But it’s not just us on earth. When we offer unleavened bread and wine to the Father and recall the Passion and the resurrected glory of his Son, the angels fall down in awe and the saints dance for joy and sing ‘Alleluia!’ and our beloved dead shout, ‘Thank you, Jesus!’”

Education key In speaking about contemporary issues in society that affect black Catholics, Father Whitt said that laws passed some 50 years ago to protect their civil rights “are never secure” and need vigilance to protect them. He also encouraged congress participants to work to strengthen and restore Catholic schools for black Catholic children. Likewise, he called for black Catholics “to develop a national curriculum for black Catholic religious education from womb to tomb” to help black Catholics of all ages better understand their faith. “We’ve got a couple of generations of Catholics who don’t know the simplest things [about their faith],” Father Whitt said. “And it’s really hard to love what you don’t know.”

As the sun set on the 73rd annual Tekakwitha Conference at its namesake’s birthplace July 21, dozens of pilgrims joined hands and formed a circle, launching a traditional dance symbolic of friendship. It also seemed to represent what many attendees described as a feeling of coming full circle as members of the Catholic family. More than 800 Native American Catholics converged in Albany July 18-22 for four days of workshops, liturgies and pilgrimages to two shrines in other locations in the Albany Diocese Did you — the birth and baptismal places of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the conknow? ference’s patroness. Blessed Kateri She was born and baptized in what will be the first are today Auriesville, N.Y., and member of a Fonda, N.Y., respectively. North This year’s gathering was scheduled American to take place in “Kateri country,” as tribe to become a many natives call upstate New York, saint when years before the Vatican approved the she is final miracle needed to make Blessed canonized in Kateri the first member of a North Rome Oct. American tribe to become a saint. 21. With the long-anticipated canonization set for October in Rome, conference participants shared their joy over the news, their tales of Blessed Kateri’s influence on their lives and their hopes for the future of their people — a tiny portion of the American population that faces problems with poverty, addiction and depression. They say Blessed Kateri’s sainthood is an answer to generations-long prayers and an affirmation of their place in the Church and in the country. “It’s going to do a lot to lift up our people, to lift up our spirits,” said Sister Kateri Mitchell, a Sister of St. Ann, who is executive director of the Tekakwitha Conference’s national office in Great Falls, Mont. “People are just so energized and high-spirited. We feel we belong now, definitely to a stronger degree, to that sacred circle.” Blessed Kateri modeled living out the Catholic faith despite resistance. She was born to a Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk Turtle Clan war chief father in 1656. When she was 4, her parents died from a smallpox epidemic, which left her with vision loss and pockmarks. She was raised by her anti-Christian uncle and began studying Catholicism in private at the age of 18. After she was baptized at the age of 20 in Fonda, her family and village ostracized and ridiculed her — she even received death threats. She fled to a Christian village in Canada in 1677 to lead a life of prayer, intense penitential practices, love for the Eucharist and devotion to chastity. She taught prayers to children, worked with the sick and elderly and attended Mass several times a day. “She has, as much as any human being can, embraced the Gospel,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who is a member of the Prairie Band of the Potawatomi Nation, in his homily during a July 20 Mass. “That means giving up things.” He encouraged Catholics to adopt virtues embodied by Blessed Kateri, starting with abstinence from vices such as addiction. Next up is the need to find time for prayer and listening to God, he said. “Just show up,” he advised. “Because most of us don’t even do that.”

Nation / World


Like Olympic athletes, everyone can glorify God, archbishop says By Simon Caldwell Catholic News Service

Athletes competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics serve as a reminder to all people to use their bodies to glorify God, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said during a Mass of thanksgiving for the games. Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said during the July 28 Mass at Westminster Cathedral that the games can help people to understand the link between spirituality and sport. The archbishop’s homily echoed the theme of the July 29 annual Day of Life of the Catholic Church in England and Wales on the importance of using one’s body to praise God. He told the 900 Massgoers, some wearing national costumes, that the human body is beautiful in the eyes of God, even as it grows old, and always should be used to honor God, the creator of all. “We will see many fine sports [where] men and women use their bodies, their minds and their spirits in the quest for glory,” Archbishop Nichols said. “But the message of the Gospel goes deeper. It reminds us, vividly, that our bodies are for the glory of God. Indeed our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. “This does not detract from that physical achievement of sport, with its beauty, symmetry, harnessing of speed, finesse and power,” he said. “Rather it enhances those achievements and gives them their deepest purpose — that of giving glory to their Maker.” The important message that can be drawn from the Olympics was not solely that people had a duty not to misuse or disfigure their bodies or harm them by


Aurora funeral

drugs and alcohol, the archbishop said, but that “the inner beauty, finesse and poise of our bodies goes beyond our years of athleticism and emerges in new form even into old age.” He noted that St Paul often used the analogy of runners in a race “to urge you and I to know clearly our true goal in life, the real, eternal prize for which we are striving.” “And if the prospect of Olympic gold can spur a competitor through years and years of sacrifice and effort, so much more can the constant prompting of God’s unswerving love and the pure gold of God’s presence for eternity spur us on in our Christian journey,” he said. Archbishop Nichols offered a blessing for the athletes competing in the games and asked God to keep them safe from injury and harm. Earlier in the Mass, the archbishop read a message for the London Olympics given by Pope Benedict XVI during his July 22 Angelus in which he prayed that the games would also bear fruit in the promotion of peace and reconciliation around the world. Afterward, James Parker, the Catholic Church’s executive coordinator for the 2012 Olympics, said the Mass was meant to help the faithful “make sense of the deeper significance of the games.” “What became particularly evident is that for 17 days, the Olympic Games brings the world together as one,” he said in a July 29 email to Catholic News Service. “Yet for us as Catholics, we have the profound privilege of experiencing this global unity at each and every celebration of the Mass,” he said.

Visit Cuba

Its People & Culture

CNS photo / Rick Wilking, Reuters

A mourner touches the hearse containing the casket of Alexander J. “AJ” Boik after his funeral Mass at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Aurora, Colo. July 27. Boik was one of the victims of a July 20 shooting when a gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila celebrated a Mass the day of the shootings, telling worshippers that Jesus’ resurrection is an assurance that death and evil will not have the last word.

Syrian opposition groups appeal for cease-fire Catholic News Service Representatives of a dozen Syrian opposition groups called for a cease-fire in their homeland and the beginning of an internationally mediated dialogue to bring democracy to the country. Meeting in Rome July 25-26, the groups, which included some inspired by Islam, said they are “firmly opposed to any discrimination based on religious confession or ethnicity.” The 14 men and three women involved in Syria’s pro-democracy movements met under the auspices of the Community of Sant’Egidio, a Rome-based Catholic lay group that promotes dialogue and charity.

Also July 26, the Catholic bishops of Syria held an abbreviated summer meeting in Aleppo, which had been the scene of fierce fighting. “If the West wants to help the Syrian people,” he said, “support and pressure for dialogue,” Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo told Fides, the Vatican’s missionary news agency. He said the bishops had decided to invite representatives of all the Christian communities in the country to gather July 28. The meeting, he said, would be to “pray together for peace in Syria and discuss urgent questions such as protecting Christians and providing humanitarian aid to all who suffer.”

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Opinion, feedback and points to ponder

AUGUST 2, 2012

Teens sometimes need help to make the right choice Michael’s heel was bouncing as if he was about to break into a sprint, but he didn’t know which way to run. “My friend texted me during your talk saying he had a new bowl he wanted to smoke with me as soon as I got home.” He went on. “We like to party. We get drunk and use girls. Our heroes Christopher are older rockers like Stefanick Nikki Sixx (from heavy metal band, Motley Crue). I know I should change but I can’t leave these guys. They’re like brothers to me.” As I watched the epic wrestling match happening between the mind and heart in front of me, the story of the rich young man from the Gospel of Mark came to mind. Jesus had invited a young man to leave everything and follow him, but the young man loved his wealth. For him it came down to Jesus or money, and he picked money. I asked Michael if he’d heard the story before. He had. In fact, he said, he’d been thinking about it all day. “That’s God, you know?” “Yeah,” he said. I shared with Michael how Jesus looked at the rich young man with love (Mark 10:21). “He’s looking at you with that same love right now, inviting you to follow him.” I continued the uncomfortable challenge. “That rich young man was attached to a lot of things. He chose those things over Jesus. Scripture says, ‘He walked away, sad.’ You’re being asked to make the choice right now between your friends and Jesus. I know it’s not easy. But don’t walk away sad.” He broke down and started to cry. He sat down and continued to cry for the next 10 minutes. What an amazing thing to get a front row seat as Jesus stands before a teenager’s heart with love saying, “Follow me.” Right in front of me, a — heart was grappling with the invitation of invitations, as countless others have since 33 A.D.


Turning point Sixteen-hundred years earlier a young man faced a similar struggle. He saw the truth but he liked his sin — a lot. At one low but very honest point in his journey, he prayed, “Lord, help me be pure, but not yet.” Later he prayed, “Let it be now!” And eventually the famous prayer, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Though he was a renowned philosopher, his turning point wasn’t some new realization. It was a straightforward challenge. He heard the voice of a child singing, “Take and read.” He opened the Bible to Romans 13:14,

“What an amazing thing to get a front row seat as Jesus stands before a

teenager’s heart with love saying, ‘Follow me.’ Right in front of me, a heart was grappling with the invitation of invitations, as countless others have since 33 A.D.


“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” God was telling him to stop his endless philosophizing and make a choice for God over his sins. He made the right choice and became St. Augustine, one of the most influential saints in church history. Thanks to relativism, many young people don’t ever engage in the internal struggle of St. Augustine or Michael (saint in the making). According to one study, 93 percent of teens do not even believe in absolute truth. Thus, their approach toward faith doesn’t require them to conform to some spiritual or ethical reality outside of themselves. There’s a growing notion that we can have both: Jesus and my favorite sin. I saw it to an extreme degree when I did youth ministry in the East L.A.-area,

where gangsters sat in my confirmation class and where plastic rosaries dangled from the rearview mirrors of almost every car involved in a drive-by shooting. A less extreme, but no less tangible example can be seen when we consider that there is almost no difference in premarital sexual activity rates among Christian young adults who know what their faith teaches on the subject, and non-Christians. Like the idols of old (gods of fertility, agriculture, war or wealth) which served our wants and needs, the Jesus of a relativist generation is simply here to make us feel good. Most of the religiously engaged teens who were polled in the National Study of Youth and Religion cited “it makes me feel good” as the reason for their devotion. Of course, faith can make us feel great.

But at times, as is the case with marriage, which also requires that we conform our lives to fit another, the journey of faith can be a painful experience! Love often is. I’m so proud of Michael for engaging the battle that happens when one recognizes that God transcends our little world and invites us into his — for hearing the invitation of Love. He was all smiles when I saw him with his group the next day. I think he made the right decision. I’m praying that he keeps it. Speaker and author Christopher Stefanick is director of youth outreach for YDisciple. Visit him at REALLIFECATHOLIC.COM. Stefanick’s column is distributed by the Denver Catholic Register, the official newspaper of the Denver Archdiocese.

This Catholic Life / Opinion-Commentary



Civility in America: How can we get it back?


Editorial Joe Towalski

Poll confirms what many Americans perceive about the tone of today’s political discourse

recent poll by the Knights of Columbus and Marist College Institute for Public Opinion on civility in public discourse confirms what many of us have observed: the tone of political conversations today is laden with too much negativity and disrespect. Two-thirds of those surveyed last month said candidates spend more time attacking their opponents than addressing issues. Nearly 80 percent are frustrated by the conduct of political campaigns. Some two-thirds feel the negativity of campaigns causes a great deal or significant amount of harm to the political process. With three months to go until Election Day, we should take the poll results to heart and hold candidates accountable for what they say — and particularly what they say about others — in their speeches and campaign ads.

their dignity and ours in the process. One of the results of the lack of civility is that fewer people are willing to engage in the marketplace of ideas for fear of being shouted down. But there are simply too many important issues at stake this election season: the definition of marriage, threats to religious liberty, poverty and the need for comprehensive immigration reform. As a church, we know what it’s like to be the focus of mean and untruthful attacks regarding several of these issues. We need to do our part to cultivate civility while ensuring that voters are properly informed when they go to the polls.

One positive step

Policing ourselves But we, as Catholics, also need to hold ourselves accountable for how we conduct ourselves — in conversations with others, on our Facebook pages, in letters to the editor — when we talk about the candidates and issues at stake this coming Nov. 6. The foundation of Catholic social teaching rests on respect for human life and the dignity inherent in every person as a child of God. When we speak untruths, attack persons instead of focusing on is-

sues, and fail to treat those with whom we disagree with courtesy and Christian charity, we demean

The Knights are taking a step in that direction by encouraging people to sign an online petition at WWW.CIVILITYINAMERICA.ORG and to support the effort by “liking” the effort on Facebook at www.FACEBOOK.COM/CIVILITYINAMERICA. It’s one small initiative that by itself might not change much. But the Knights should be applauded for the effort to highlight this persistent problem in the public arena. If the rest of us Catholics — who make up roughly a quarter of the U.S. population — would take their idea to heart, we might finally begin to change the attack-ad culture that plagues our public life.

Religious freedom and the equality of women

T Faith in the Public Arena Deborah Savage

The truth is that the church not only loves women, she is literally pleading with us to set the world on fire

here is an untruth circulating rather widely in the public square these days — and gaining speed. We need to derail it. The falsehood that is spreading is that somehow, because the church refuses to conform to the default position of practically everyone in contemporary society — that sexual promiscuity is the only authentic sign-post of human freedom — that she, the church, is waging a war on women. The evidence of such a “war,” it is said, is found in the fact that the church refuses to waver in her teaching that human fertility is not a disease state, that the use of birth control and abortifacients compromises the sacred nature of the sexual act, and that abortion — portrayed since 1973 as the linchpin of a woman’s right to choose the kind of life she wants for herself — takes the life of an actual human person and is therefore akin to murder. And so, the argument goes, the church’s insistence that the HHS mandate poses a serious threat to religious freedom is a position in direct conflict with the hard won right of women to use any means necessary to avoid unwanted pregnancies, the signature freedom of the so-called women’s movement.

From the ‘women’s movement’ to today Over the last 50 years, this distorted view of what constitutes human freedom has spread everywhere in our society. It has infiltrated our families, our schools and the media. It has become an unspoken assumption in public discourse and a premise of our legal system. In the meantime, our children are being told they are constitutionally unable to govern themselves, that they are at the mercy of bodily desires that cannot be refused and that

therefore the only “choice” they have is to use artificial means — often the cause of disease states themselves — in order to avoid the natural consequences of an act undertaken without thinking about it. Only animals have sex without thinking about it. I believe it was George Orwell who said that if you repeat a lie often enough, pretty soon people begin to believe it. The undeniable truth is that this distorted meaning of the human body has led to all manner of social ills, confused the natural relationships between the sexes and led to an epidemic of sexual aberrations, addictions and STDs. What is completely overlooked is that the sexual union is inexpressibly intimate, is clearly meant to be a complete self-gift (body and soul), and that it therefore must be grounded in love and an authentic commitment to the other.

Who loves women? Has the contemporary understanding of human sexuality led to greater freedom for women? Are women happier? The data say no. We are now more likely to be abused, abandoned or divorced, more likely to be single working moms, poor, struggling and lonely. It is simply a fact that the sexual revolution has been hardest on women. So the question becomes: Who truly loves women? Those that claim that women’s happiness depends on their freedom to have sex with whomever they like without restraint or responsibility? Or the church, who maintains that women’s happiness will be realized only when women are free to become who they truly are?

Watch it online A video of the presentation “Deceits and Conceits: The False Conflict of Religious Freedom and Women’s Liberty” can be viewed online at WWW.MNCC.ORG/SIENNASYMPOSIUM-FOR-WOMANFAMILY-AND-CULTURE-RELIGIOUSLIBERTY-AND-THE-EQUALITY -OF-WOMEN. The presentation was held by the Sienna Symposium for Women, Family, and Culture June 27 at the University of St. Thomas in conjunction with the national Fortnight for Freedom.

Is it the purveyors of our sex obsessed culture who encourage women to look at themselves as sexual objects, to regard their fertility as a curse, a kind of disease to be prevented and cured, who would have us think that helping women means helping them avoid babies, not helping them to have them in the context of a marriage where they can be welcomed and raised in love? Or is it someone like our beloved Blessed John Paul II, rightly called the “feminist” pope, who proclaims in countless places that the genius of woman is grounded in her natural proclivity to attend to the wellbeing of the other and that it is this precise quality, in addition to her ordinary human competencies, that is needed in every aspect of the life of society, not only in the home, but in the workplace and in the world at large?

Human nature and authentic freedom We must insist now on engaging the HHS mandate on our terms. At

its core, this is not a debate about contraception but about two radically divergent understandings of human nature and what it means to be fully human and truly free. As Catholics, we understand human freedom to be the freedom to choose the good. Freedom to choose the bad is not freedom at all — because it leads to slavery. And the choices that women and men have made over the last 50 years in the name of freedom have begun to enslave us all. The truth is that the church not only loves women, she is literally pleading with us to set the world on fire. Here are the words of the “Closing Address to Women” at the Second Vatican Council: “But the hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being achieved in its fullness, the hour in which woman acquires in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women impregnated with the spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid mankind in not falling.” This debate is our “Catholic moment” — the moment for the prophetic voice of faithful Catholic women to be sounded in the public square. Savage is a faculty member at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity and co-director of the Siena Symposium for Women, Family and Culture at the University of St. Thomas, which hosted a forum on religious liberty and the equality of women during the national Fortnight of Freedom. She is a blog contributor for the Minnesota Catholic Conference.




/ This Catholic Life

Archbishop Sheen and ‘ultimate reality’ television


Intellect and Virtue John Garvey

Preachers like him appeal to people who think their lives have a meaning, that life’s questions have true and false answers

ecently, the Congregation for Saints’ Causes recognized the life of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen as one of heroic virtue and granted him the title “venerable.” It is a step toward beatification. He now needs a miracle attributed to his intercession to proceed. Archbishop Sheen graduated from The Catholic University of America in 1920. He received his doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, in 1923, and won the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy, given once each decade. He then taught at The Catholic University of America from 1926 to 1950. He was a force of nature. By 1940, in addition to his classes, he was meeting 150 speaking engagements per year. He also did the “Catholic Hour” radio show to which he first owed his celebrity. It was heard by millions from 1930 to 1950. Evangelist Billy Graham called him “one of the greatest preachers of this century.” Catholic Church historian Msgr. John Tracy Ellis said Archbishop Sheen was the 20th century’s most famous Catholic preacher.

TV sensation In 1951, Archbishop Sheen began his television career. His half-hour ABC show, “Life Is Worth Living,” was a media sensation. The archbishop would talk straight through

the show with no notes, no props — except his blackboard. My earliest memory of television is sitting at my great-grandparents’ home on Sunday evening, watching that program in black and white with my great-uncles and -aunts. Archbishop Sheen won an Emmy for Most Outstanding Television Personality, besting Edward R. Murrow, Lucille Ball and Arthur Godfrey. It’s hard to imagine someone like Archbishop Sheen even appearing on television today, let alone winning an Emmy. Some might say he couldn’t measure up to modern shows in entertainment value. I doubt this. I think it has more to do with the changed expectations of television audiences or producers. The archbishop’s show demanded more of the viewer than today’s programs, which viewers watch to be entertained or titillated (notice the passive voice). The Sunday night lineup, where Archbishop Sheen once appeared, now runs such lazy fare as “Big Brother” and “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.” Until recently, it included “Desperate Housewives.” Compare this to a program Archbishop Sheen did in 1956 about gloom as a neurosis. He discussed the theme of despair in modern literature. He reminded viewers how French existentialist writer Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” ends with the observation that “hell is other people,”

moral standards in society and maintained a certainty about religion. He condemned Josef Stalin and communism, famously presaging the Soviet leader’s death one week before it happened. He denounced racism and the excesses of capitalism.

Relativity rules

CNS file photo

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is pictured preaching in an undated photo.

and observed that the intense egotism of such works leads to a curious kind of self-pity. “Life is Worth Living” also came with a distinctive point of view. Archbishop Sheen argued for objective

In today’s television scene, the only permissible philosophical premise is that each person has his own truth. What’s right or good for me may not be right or good for you, and that’s OK. In a world governed by this assumption, the only necessary virtue is tolerance; and the only vice is hypocrisy. A prophet like Archbishop Sheen would be out of place in such a world. Preachers like him appeal to people who think their lives have a meaning, that life’s questions have true and false answers. Someone who is actively searching for those answers, not passively waiting to be entertained, will find real value in a half-hour of conversation with a thoughtful guide. And Archbishop Sheen earned his popularity, I think, by paying his viewers the compliment of supposing that that’s what they were looking for. Garvey is the president of The Catholic University of America in Washington.

Dark forces no match for power of the Gospel, sacraments


n the sixth chapter of St. Mark’s Gospel, we find the account of Jesus sending out the Twelve, two by two, on mission. The first thing he gave them, Mark tells us, was “authority over unclean spirits.” The first pastoral act they performed was to “drive out many demons.” When I was coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s, it was common, even in seminaries, to dismiss such talk as primitive superstition or perFather haps to modernize it and make it a Robert Barron literary device, using symbolic language evocative of the struggle with evil in the abstract. But the problem with that approach is that it just does not do justice to the Bible. The biblical authors knew all about “evil” in both its personal and institutional expressions, but they also knew about a level of spiritual dysfunction that lies underneath both of those more ordinary dimensions. They knew about the world of fallen or morally compromised spirits. Jesus indeed battled sin in individual hearts as well as the sin that dwelled in institutional structures, but he also struggled with a dark power more fundamental and more dangerous than those.


Acting secretly What — or better, who — is this threatening spiritual force? It is a devil, a fallen or morally compromised angel. Imagine a truly wicked person who is also very smart, very talented and very enterprising. Now raise that person to a far higher pitch of ontological perfection, and you will have some idea of what a devil is like. Very rarely, devils intervene in human affairs in vividly frightening and dramatic ways. But typically, devils act more indirectly and clandestinely, through temptation, influence and suggestion. One of the most terrifying religious paintings in the world is in the Cathedral of Orvieto in Italy. It is a depiction of the Antichrist by the great early renaissance painter Luca Signorelli. The artist shows the devil whispering into the ear of the Antichrist and also working his arm through the vesture of his victim in such a way that it appears to be the Antichrist’s own arm, thereby

“God is a great gathering

force, for by his very nature he is love; but the devil’s work is to sunder, to set one against the other.


beautifully symbolizing how the dark power acts precisely with us and through us. What are his usual effects? We can answer that question quite well by examining the names the Bible gives to this figure. He is often called “diabolos” in the Greek of the New Testament, a word derived from “dia-balein” — to throw apart, to scatter. God is a great gathering force, for by his very nature he is love; but the devil’s work is to sunder, to set one against the other. Whenever communities, families, nations and churches are divided, we sniff out the diabolic. The other great New Testament name for the devil is “ho Satanas,” which means “the accuser.” Perform a little experiment: Gauge how often in the course of the day you accuse another person of something or find yourself accused. It’s easy enough to notice how often dysfunctional families and societies finally collapse into an orgy of mutual blaming. That’s satanic work. Another great biblical name for the devil is “the father of lies.” Because God is Truth, truthfulness — about oneself, about others, about the way things really are — is the key to smooth human relations. But how often we suffer because of untruth! Perhaps many years ago, someone told you a lie about yourself, and you’ve been wounded by it ever since. Perhaps you’ve deliberately lied about another person and thereby ruined his character and reputation. Consider how many wars and genocides have been predicated

upon pervasive misperceptions and fabrications. Finally, the author of the first letter of John refers to the devil as “the murderer from the beginning.” God is life and thus the fosterer of human life. The devil — like an unhappy person who likes nothing better than to spread unhappiness around him — is the enemy of human flourishing, the killer of life. Does anyone really think that the massive slaughters that took place in the 20th century — the piling up of tens of millions of corpses — can be adequately explained through political or psychological categories?

Triumph over darkness An extraordinarily important aspect of the good news of Christianity is that Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has won victory over these dark forces. St. Paul said we battle, not simply flesh and blood, but spiritual powers and principalities. But then he reminded us that nothing — neither height nor depth, nor any other power — could finally separate us from the love of Christ. Jesus has entrusted to his church the means to apply this victory, the weapons, if you will, to win the spiritual warfare. These are the sacraments (especially the Eucharist and confession), the Mass, the Bible, personal prayer, the rosary, etc. One of the tragedies of our time is that so many Catholics have dropped those weapons. Allow me to focus a bit more attention on confession by switching from a military to a medical analogy. An open wound — untreated and unbandaged — will rapidly become infected by germs and bacteria. Think of a pattern of serious sin as a sort of open wound in the spiritual order. Untreated, which is to say, un-confessed, it becomes a point of entry for less than savory spiritual powers. Jesus sent out the Twelve to battle dark spirits. He still empowers his church to do the same. Don’t be reluctant to use the weapons — and the healing balms — that he has given us. Father Barron is the founder of the global ministry, Word on Fire, and the rector/president of Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

This Catholic Life / Commentary



Human life, dignity at center of church’s social teaching The following is the fourth article in the series “Catholics Care - Catholics Vote.” The series, which will run until Election Day, Nov. 6, unpacks and explores the themes addressed by the U.S. bishops in “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” their document on political responsibility. For past articles in the series, visit THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM. By Don Clemmer A funny thing happened on the way to Mexico. As journalist John Allen reports, while speaking to the media aboard the papal plane at the start of his visit to Mexico, Pope Benedict XVI had some strong words for certain Catholics: “Personally, in the individual square, they’re Catholics, believers,” the pope said. “But in public life they follow other paths that don’t correspond to the great values of the Gospel which are necessary for the foundation of a just society. It’s essential to educate people in order to overcome this schizophrenia, educating not only about individual morality but also public morality.” Allen points out that U.S. Catholics are probably used to this kind of rhetoric, mostly aimed at Catholic politicians who don’t uphold the church’s teaching on abortion in public policy. He then notes that Pope Benedict was actually fielding a question about social justice and the gap between rich and poor and, in effect, had taken a principle associated with the pro-life movement and applied it consistently across a broader spectrum of issues. The U.S. bishops do essentially the same thing in

“Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” stating that every Catholic has a duty to bring the truth of the dignity of every human person into the public square and to guide their civic actions by assimilating what the church teaches. When it comes to what those teachings are, the bishops offer a complete, interconnected moral framework with the right to life and the dignity of the human person at its center. When the bishops apply this principle to the political issues of the day, they, like Pope Benedict, cast a broad net: Human dignity opposes direct attacks on human life, whether that’s the unborn baby or a civilian in a combat zone. It opposes unjust discrimination, whether it’s denying jobs, housing and other opportunities based on skin color or deciding that, due to age or illness, someone should be deliberately killed. Human dignity says that people aren’t to be used as a means to an end, whether that’s cloning or destroying human embryos in the name of science, going to war without sufficient cause and subsequently torturing people in the name of national security, or deliberately snuffing out a life in the name of justice or compassion. Finally, a belief in human dignity means no one can remain oblivious to widespread human suffering, whether it’s genocide abroad or poverty at home. All of these are covered when the bishops call on Catholics to speak out consistently for human life and dignity. Doing so, of course, isn’t without its share of complications and grief, especially when it collides head-on with the traditional ideological divides of U.S. politics. Addressing a Washington gathering in 2008, Archbishop Charles Chaput, then archbishop of Denver, mused that it seemed, “The people who attack me when

I speak out against abortion are the same ones who praise me when I speak out in defense of immigrants.” And vice versa. The archbishop wasn’t demonizing immigrant supporters as pro-abortion or suggesting that pro-lifers are anti-immigrant, but rather illustrating the widespread need for greater consistency on human life and dignity issues.

Being a force for good John Carr, USCCB’s executive director of Justice, Peace and Human Development, has noted that any Catholic who tries to live out Catholic teaching consistently in the public square is bound to feel “politically homeless” pretty quickly. The difficulty Catholics have dealing with this quandary is reflected in the fragmented, disparate political allegiances they settle for, often giving voice to a few concerns of the church, but diluting or dulling its moral voice on others. While it might be tempting to throw in the towel on this mess, that approach is too simplistic and turns its back on the duty of every Catholic to get involved. Just because Catholics are often as divided as the rest of the country doesn’t mean they can’t be a force for good. Just as Catholics are called to form their individual consciences, they can also serve as a voice of conscience to the entire political process. The key is not to speak from mere partisan or ideological agendas, but from the conviction that sees, in the words of the bishops, “all human beings as children of God.” Clemmer is assistant director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Public choices will endure beyond this life “Whatever you do to one of these least ones, you do to me.”

“Human dignity is not


hose familiar words of Christ remain a perennial challenge to our consciences — individually and collectively — as we consider our responsibilities toward one another. Election years bring into sharp focus the daunting task of structuring a just and functional society. We struggle to order priorities and balance competing claims to both the benefits and responsibilities of life in common. While essential to the good ordering of society, Catholic moral principles cannot be immediately translated into the complexities of law or policy. Father Tom Knoblach Yet, at the heart of all morality is the simple but inexhaustibly profound truth that each person is created as a deliberate exercise of divine love: made in the image of God. Human dignity is not assigned by governments or corporations, not decided upon by political majorities or legislative bodies. It derives directly from God, the Lord and Giver of Life. Dignity may be more or less adequately recognized and protected by our policies, but it can never be eradicated by them. True, concrete circumstances lead to enormous differences in health, education, material goods, social status and other characteristics in the human community. But these remain secondary to that essential truth: the intrinsic value of each human life is infinite, inviolable and immune from mere human reckoning. Human dignity does not vary with our stage of development or decline; it remains untouched by incidental factors of age, health, dependency or need.

assigned by governments or corporations, not decided upon by political majorities or legislative bodies. It derives directly from God, the Lord and Giver of Life.


Creating our personal history “Whatever you do to the least, you do to me.” These words from the familiar scene of the Last Judgment remind us that our choices are not random, isolated actions but steps in the creation of a personal history that will endure beyond this life. As C.S. Lewis put it,


each day we are choosing the kind of people we will be forever. In this Gospel, it is not those who are suffering who are under judgment. It is those witnessing those sufferings that are judged, based on how they respond or fail to respond to the human dignity that endures beneath affliction, strife or temptation. It is only by presuming the intact dignity of those in need that Christ’s lesson here makes sense at all. By God’s wisdom, the “least” are not clearly identified. Examples are given in the Gospel, but they are not exhaustive. The sufferings that call forth our concern and help — hunger and thirst, sickness and isolation, loneliness and want — cross the boundaries of race and ethnicity, gender and creed, orientation and status. They are situations any of us may experience at some point. So those we count “least” can be many different people — not only the unborn, the dying, the poor, the immigrant, but also those who take opposing view-

points on issues, those we consider inferior, or troublesome or unworthy of our time and effort. They may be those in our neighborhoods and families, or those in places far away. It is easy to acknowledge the dignity of those we naturally respect. It is the work of grace to do so for all persons, made in God’s image. It was the Christian faith that brought the idea to respect the dignity of all life into social structures and institutions that have changed human history. Political slogans and partisan priorities might suggest that according respect for human dignity is a zero-sum game, that caring for some necessarily comes at the expense of others. This is a fallacy. Resources may be limited, but love and respect need not be. Father Tom Knoblach is consultant for health care ethics in the Diocese of St. Cloud and pastor of Holy Spirit, St. Anthony and St. John Cantius parishes in St. Cloud.

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” John 6:35



Reflections on faith and spirituality

AUGUST 2, 2012

We must be attentive to the signs of God’s presence


igns play a big part in our lives. We encounter them all the time, often without even realizing it. Think, for example, of just how many road signs you encounter even on a short drive. They are all meant to stand for something else, to point out what lies ahead on the road. This is exactly why they are so important. By indicating the rules of the road and what we will soon encounter, they lead us safely to our destination. On the other hand, if we ignore the signs or fail to understand what they indicate, we will be unprepared for what is coming. We could miss a turn, lose control or get into a collision. In his Gospel, St. John calls Jesus’ miracles “signs.” This kind of sign reveals something about Jesus, pointing us deeper into the mystery of his Deacon life. Joah Ellis In last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus performed the sign of feeding 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. In this Sunday’s Gospel, which comes shortly after the multiplication story, Jesus is making a transition. He is beginning to explain that the earthly food he just

Sunday Scriptures



Sunday, Aug. 5

Think about a time when you were attentive to a sign of God’s presence. What kind of impact did it have on your life?

18th Sunday in ordinary time ■ Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 ■ Ephesians 4:17, 20-24 ■ John 6:24-35

provided signifies the spiritual food to come — his body and blood in the Eucharist.

God at work Unfortunately, however, the people do not realize that this multiplication is a sign. This is why we find them asking him for another sign, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?” They only noticed the fact that he fed them with bread and missed the deeper meaning. Because they missed this sign, they will be unable to understand the Lord’s further teaching on the Eucharist, and so they will soon leave him altogether. God continues to give signs to his people even today. They may not be quite so extraordinary, but they are there. An example of such a sign might be crossing paths

Daily Scriptures Sunday, Aug. 5 18th Sunday in ordinary time Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 Ephesians 4:17, 20-24 John 6:24-35 Monday, Aug. 6 Transfiguration of the Lord Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 2 Peter 1:16-19 Mark 9:2-10 Tuesday, Aug. 7 St. Sixtus II, pope, and companions, martyrs; St. Cajetan, priest Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22 Matthew 14:22-36 Wednesday, Aug. 8 St. Dominic, priest Jeremiah 31:1-7 Matthew 15:21-28 Thursday, Aug. 9 St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, virgin and martyr Jeremiah 31:31-34 Matthew 16:13-23 Friday, Aug. 10 St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 John 12:24-26 Saturday, Aug. 11 St. Clare, virgin Habakkuk 1:12-2:4 Matthew 17:14-20 Sunday, Aug. 12 19th Sunday in ordinary time

with a friend who tells you exactly what you needed to hear at that moment. It might be as simple as a beautiful sunset that stirs your soul. It could be the witness of a man and a woman who are living a strong, holy marriage. All of these are signs of God’s power, love and care. They are meant to lead us to God, to a deeper relationship with him that culminates in the Eucharist. But if we are not attentive and fail to recognize these signs, we will keep asking God for more signs to “prove” himself to us. The problem with this is that even if he gives us other signs, like the people in the Gospel we will miss those just like we missed the first. But if we are attentive to the signs of his presence in our everyday lives, we will not miss the even-greater sign of his presence in the Eucharist. The Eucharist, in turn, will reveal signs in our lives that we never noticed before. Let us ask the Lord Jesus to help us be attentive to all the signs he gives us. Deacon Joah Ellis is in formation for the priesthood at St. Paul Seminary for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His home parish is Epiphany in Coon Rapids and his teaching parish is St. Timothy in Maple Lake.

Patron of priests among greatest confessors By Father Michael Van Sloun 1 Kings 19:4-8 Ephesians 4:30-5:2 John 6:41-51 Monday, Aug. 13 Sts. Pontian, pope, and Hippolytus, priest, martyrs Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28c Matthew 17:22-27 Tuesday, Aug. 14 St. Maximilian Kolbe, priest and martyr Ezekiel 2:8-3:4 Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 Wednesday, Aug. 15 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (holy day of obligation) Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab 1 Corinthians 15:20-27 Luke 1:39-56 Thursday, Aug. 16 St. Stephen of Hungary Ezekiel 12:1-12 Matthew 18:21-19:1 Friday, Aug. 17 Ezekiel 16:1-15, 60, 63 Matthew 19:3-12 Saturday, Aug. 18 Ezekiel 18:1-10, 13b, 30-32 Matthew 19:13-15 Sunday, Aug. 19 20th Sunday in ordinary time Proverbs 9:1-6 Ephesians 5:15-20 John 6:51-58

Father Vianney was the “Cure” or “Curate” of Ars, the pastor or priest responsible for the care of the faithful. He visited St. John Vianney, whose feast day is the homes of his parishioners and was a Aug. 4, is also known as St. Jean Baptiste kindly man who loved his people. He also Marie Vianney and the Cure of Ars. He was an animated preacher, dewas born in 1786 in Lyons, nouncing religious indifference, France, into a devout Catholic immorality, immodesty, drunkfamily. It was a time of terrible enness and dishonesty. upheaval. The French RevoluDespite his shortcomings as tion was under way, churches a student, he proved an effective were being closed and priests teacher and expertly explained were being killed. the fundamentals of the faith Young John spent much of with the catechism. He spent his youth on the farm as a sheplong hours in prayer himself herd boy. He was inspired by a and taught people to talk with good and holy priest, experiGod in much the same way that enced a call by God and entwo friends talk back and forth. S T. JOHN VIANNEY rolled in the seminary, but the He had a heart for the poor and road to ordination was extremely difficult. established an orphanage. It was interrupted by illness and military Father Vianney proved to be such an service. effective spiritual counselor that his repWhen he was able to resume his studies, utation spread widely. He is one of the they did not come easily. Latin was diffigreatest confessors in church history, often cult for him to grasp, and because courses hearing confessions for 10 to 12 hours per were taught in Latin, he “flunked out” day in the wintertime and up to 16 hours and was dismissed. Fortunately, a local per day during the summer months. priest, Father Abbe Balley, tutored him Father Vianney practiced rigorous and told seminary officials, “His goodness was sufficient to offset his deficiencies in penance and self-mortification, primarily learning.” The priest’s recommendation through extended fasts which caused him was accepted and John was ordained a to be thin and gaunt in appearance. Over the second half of his life he suffered priest in 1815 at the age of 29. Father Vianney spent the first two years greatly: spiritual attacks from the devil; of his priesthood (1815-1817) as the as- belittling and accusatory comments from sociate pastor and understudy of Father members of the clergy; and personal selfBalley, his mentor. Then in 1817 Father doubt because of what he called “my igVianney was appointed pastor of a small norance.” He died in 1859, and in 1925 Pope Pius parish in Ars, France, a remote village with a population of approximately 230, XI both canonized John Vianney as a and he served in Ars for the next 42 years saint and named him the patron of parish until his death in 1859 at the age of 73. priests. For The Catholic Spirit



Teens say youth conference experience was ‘powerful’ Sara Kovach

Eucharistic adoration was one of the most memorable parts of the experience, according to several participants interviewed by The Catholic Spirit. Keatie Mulhorn, a junior at Minnetonka High School and parishioner at St. John the Baptist in Excelsior, said it was an emotional experience — some youth shed tears — when a priest processed through the crowd with a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament. Mulhorn said she felt the real presence of God. Kathryn Furlong also a parishioner St. John the Baptist, said she liked seeing the large gathering of youth worshipping God and having fun with it. “I love the fact that you can take away from this conference that you are not alone, that there are others going through the same faith experiences you are,” she said.

The Catholic Spirit

Seventeen high school students from St. Pius X in White Bear Lake were among the more than 2,000 Catholic teens from across the Midwest who attended the Steubenville North Youth Conference at University of St. Thomas, July 27-29. Sadie Korsich, a sophomore at AFSA High School and parishioner at St. Pius X, said she “felt the presence of God” at the event, which was “pretty amazing.” While she could not pinpoint one particular activity as being her favorite she said participating in the sacrament of confession was a powerful moment for her. “‘Powerful’ sums up the whole [conference],” she added. Laura Fenzle, youth minister at the parish, said the conference was unlike any other she attended. “I’ve never seen a Steubenville North conference where the kids were this invested — most kids were drawn in right from the get-go,” she said. “The kids knew they were part of something big and weren’t scared to be there.”


The Eighth Day The conference’s theme this year was “The Eighth Day.” The term, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, refers to “a new day, a day of redemption by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the first creation ended on the seventh day, on the eighth day started the new creation, the creation redeemed by Jesus.” The conference, sponsored by Partnership for Youth, started with an invitation by speaker Ennie Hickman of ADORE Ministries, who asked the youth to forget about worries or fears during the weekend

Dianne Towalski / The Catholic Spirit

Father John Amsberry, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker in Portland, Ore., and part of the St. Paul Ministry Team, carries a monstrance through the crowd of youth, who were allowed to touch it, during the Steubenville North conference at the University of St. Thomas July 28.

and open their hearts to receive the Holy Spirit. Other speakers included Father John Amsberry, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker in Portland, Ore.; Leah Darrow, a former New York fashion model, who talked to young women about the virtues of modesty and chastity, and Deacon Ralph Poyo,

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founder of New Evangelization Ministries, who talked about overcoming distractions in prayer. Sonar, a Catholic band from the Twin Cities, energized and inspired the youth during praise and worship time. Archbishop John Nienstedt presided at Sunday’s closing Mass.

Fenzle said the time immediately after the Steubenville North conference is as important as the event itself. “We do a sharing meeting when we come back,” she said, and this gives the kids a chance to tell their parents about the experience. Follow-up is crucial for maintaining close relationships, she said. “Since the kids enjoyed Sonar [singing] Matt Maher songs, we are planning a reunion during the SPO Elegate event,” she said. St. Paul’s Outreach is hosting “Elegate,” a night full of praise and worship for youth and young adults ages 17-27 Aug. 9. “That’s the great thing about kids attending Steubenville conferences, it keeps bringing them back to experience more,” she said.

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Colleges & Careers THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

A Catholic Spirit special section

AUGUST 2, 2012

Q&A with president of Catholic University of America one best left to the church itself to decide. Certainly allowing academic freedom in your business shouldn’t be disqualifying, I would think. That’s a second example. ■ A third example this year, not in higher education but in elementary and secondary education: There was an important case before the Supreme Court earlier this term called Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC about whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission could subject religious schools to supervision under various non-discrimination laws. For years, there has been an understood exemption by religious institutions from the hiring and firing of people who are key employees performing religious functions. The EEOC and the Department of Justice asserted authority to oversee the hiring and firing and treatment of employees who were religious teachers. The Supreme Court thought that this view was remarkable — this was an Evangelical Lutheran church — and ruled that the government doesn’t have any business saying who churches and religious schools can hire to preach the message of the Gospel. That, too, is a concern about government intruding into the affairs of religious institutions.

John Garvey is the 15th president of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and a nationally renowned expert in constitutional law, religious liberty and the First Amendment. He spoke earlier this summer at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul on “The Challenges of Mission-focused Leadership at a Catholic University.” The following are excerpts from an interview with The Catholic Spirit. Read the full interview online at THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM. Why is religious liberty important in the context of any Catholic university? It’s intruded on the management of the university in some ways that are of concern to us at Catholic University. To take the most recent example, there’s been a back and forth with the [Obama] administration over the health care mandates that were proposed last fall and made final this spring, where Catholic institutions like The Catholic University of America have to provide — at no added cost to their students — insurance coverage of prescription contraceptives and surgical sterilizations and some things that we, in our ordinary daily business, tell the students that the church frowns on. . . . To have to turn around, at the same time, and provide them free of charge to our students, undermines the message that we are trying to deliver. It’s our feeling — and the courts will see it the same way — that our own system of religious freedom allows institutions like ours to be exempt from things like this that they view as seriously wrong. What are some other challenges for CUA and other Catholic universities? Other issues that have come up in the life of universities that haven’t struck us but are culturally salient issues at some other Catholic universities are, for example: ■ Several regional directors of the National Labor Relations Board in New York and Chicago [have said that the schools] are not Catholic universities [that qualify] for exemption from the National Labor Relations Act. The disagreement between the universities and the labor board on this issue is about what makes

CNS photo / Bob Roller

a university Catholic. The regional directors and the board seem to have suggested that if you allow academic freedom; if you admit students who are not Catholic; if you don’t require people to go to Mass every day; that if you have faculty that aren’t Catholic; then you’re not truly Catholic for exception to the [Act]. The schools maintain and I believe that the decision about what are Catholic universities and what are not is

What’s the good news about Catholic higher education today? There’s a lot of good news about Catholic higher education. It’s an environment in which we all — people in the business of higher education — are concerned about questions of affordability and what is the value that we offer to our students for the tuition they pay. I think one of the great advantages Catholic universities have is that they are offering something that other people are not offering. It isn’t just preparation for a trade or instructions in English grammar or literature. We spend as much of our energies thinking about what kinds of people our students are becoming in the course of their education as about teaching them mechanical engineering or archiPLEASE TURN TO CUA ON PAGE 15

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CUA head talks about challenge of mission-focused leadership CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14

tecture or finance and economics. Speaking as a parent of five children, I can say that is something that my wife and I would happily spend our money on. Nothing is more important to us than that our children turn out to be well-educated serious Catholics who have happy marriages and happy lives and continue to go to church and receive the sacraments when they grow up. The school can help us in the process of getting them to that point. You spoke at UST about the challenge of mission-focused leadership at a Catholic university. What is the biggest challenge in today’s world of higher education? There are several: ■ One of them has to do with the educational process itself. One or two generations ago, there was, in America, a set of implicit cultural presuppositions about the value of religion and the role that faith played in people’s intellectual lives. We didn’t have to begin at the very beginning in undertaking conversations about why teachers and scholars at a Catholic university might take a particular point of view about literature or criminal law or the history of the Middle Ages. Nowadays, people grow to adulthood without absorbing from the culture a set of principles, ideas and so on. Partly, it’s a

result of the increasing secularization of the culture. Partly, it’s a result of the increasing religious diversity or, in many orders, indifference. So, finding faculty and hiring faculty who care about those things and presenting that intellectual vision to students in a way that’s attractive is a real challenge. It’s also a real opportunity, if you think of higher education as a business — that’s another aspect of a product that we’re offering that others don’t offer, and differentiation is good. That’s one challenge. ■ The second challenge has to do . . . with the culture in which young people grow up. Today, there have been so many changes since my generation’s childhood: in the wealth of American families; in the stability of American families, both keeping together and living in the same place; in the religious commitment and faith of young families; and attitudes toward sex and substance abuse. Young people are presented images of materialism, of ways to live a happy life that are very much in variance with what the Catholic Church has always believed and what the generation that grew up after World War II and the Korean War believed. I think they are finding that it doesn’t really make them happy, and many young people are looking for an alternative that’s attractive. The challenge is to offer them that sort of alternative in an environment that is, itself, conducive to

an education in a different kind of world. Do you find that because our world has changed so much that it can be difficult for Catholic universities to form these young adults? It is difficult in two ways: ■ One is the kind of things we used to call sin are always [seemingly] attractive and fun, and the appeal of that is the same as it always was — but the opportunities are much more available as well. In this kind of culture, where we don’t make value judgments as we go, there isn’t any kind of social stigma to living that sort of life as opposed to another one. Kids are genuinely unsure about how they ought to behave. ■ Another sort of difficulty is that when you’re offering an alternative that is countercultural, you’re going to make some people unhappy. When you take steps like Catholic University did a year ago, when we said we were going to return to single-sex residence halls, there were a lot of good and sensible reasons for doing this, beginning with it’s just a way of communicating a message of respect for people of the opposite sex. . . . There were a lot of good reasons for doing it, and I was curious to hear what the case was on the other side. I listened very hard and I tried to keep an open mind to the extent that I wanted to hear [a good answer to the question:] “Why should we

put boys and girls 18-19 years old together, living in the same proximity to one another?” And I just [didn’t] hear it. But people were really upset about it to the point that somebody sued me for violating the D.C. Human Rights Act. I think that some of the disagreement was a result of a misunderstanding. Some people mistook the changes we were proposing for a kind of suggestion that we were going to return to a period where men and women had defined sex roles and women weren’t welcome in the workplace and workplace boards and so on. It had nothing to do with that. I am the father of five children and three of them are girls and they all played sports and they’ve all been to graduate school and they’re all professional women like their mother. We have no intention of trying to undo that. We want the same opportunities in all respects as men. But people sleeping together in the same quarters isn’t any necessary part of that. So some people mistook it as an antique feminist agenda, which it’s not. It’s as much about the guys as it is about the girls. Some of the people were, I think, defending their own lifestyle. Nobody was willing to come out and say it’s a good thing for kids to have sex. Nobody was willing to take that position. If you think that is something that people ought to wait to do until they are married, why tempt fate.

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“Good music reveals beauty and beauty points to the truth of who God is.” Catholic recording artist Matt Maher



Exploring our church and our world

AUGUST 2, 2012

Matt Maher plays so listeners will hear God Singer will perform at ‘Elegate’ event for young adults at U of M By Susan Klemond For The Catholic Spirit

Popular Catholic recording artist Matt Maher is bringing his music to the University of Minnesota’s Coffman Memorial Union Aug. 9. But he’s not planning to have a single faith message at his performance for the hundreds of youth and young adults who will attend. Instead he’s “elegating” or passing that task up to God (as opposed to “delegating” the job to event planners.) In other words, Maher is trusting the Lord to deliver a personalized message to each individual. “I kind of see the music and the worship functioning as a bridge to help all these young people have an encounter with God that’s transformative,” said Maher, who will perform and lead worship at St. Paul’s Outreach’s second annual Elegate event, an evangelistic evening of music, worship and testimony centered around the Gospel.

Singing to God Inviting the audience to move from listening to participating in worship “creates this space where people start thinking about God and

Photo: Matthew Priestly

Catholic recording artist Matt Maher is bringing his music to Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota Aug. 9.

singing about God and at some point there’s a shift where they’re singing to God,” Maher said. “It’s such a small but profound shift that happens. Good music reveals beauty and beauty points to the truth of who God is. But I think there’s something even more beautiful or more profound when that leads to prayer of a

corporate nature.” The Elegate event (see box at left) will be more than a concert, said Ryan O’Hara, SPO Minnesota branch director and an Elegate organizer. Aimed at youth and young adults ages 17 to 27 but open to anyone, the event will include a Gospel sharing by Father Craig Vasek and the

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chance to pray and respond to the message. “I think a lot of times as Catholics it’s hard for us to give people tangible ways to participate and say yes to Jesus Christ,” O’Hara said. “It’s one thing to watch a performer. It’s another thing to begin to sing the songs and make some decisions, and even give voice to those decisions. Through praying with somebody or praying as a group, we think the Gospel requires us to make some kind of tangible response.” SPO is a West St. Paul-based Catholic ministry seeking to evangelize college students, bring them to maturity and train them to be leaders. Young people’s need to encounter and respond to the Gospel is great because they know the world doesn’t fulfill them, said Father Vasek, parochial vicar at St. Philip in Bemidji who frequently works with youth and young adults. Because young adults are making major decisions about their lives while facing many financial and life pressures, they question how they’re supposed to navigate, O’Hara said. “I see a lot of young adults that are sort of frozen, paralyzed by fear about the future,” he said. “That’s why I think this sort of message and night

If you go ■ What: Elegate 2012 ■ Who: Youth and young adults ages 17-27, but all are welcome ■ When: Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m. ■ Where: Great Hall, Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave., SE., Minneapolis ■ Cost: $18 in advance, $22 at door ■ For more info and to order tickets: Visit WWW.TRUSTONE GREATER.COM or call (651) 451-6114.




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Calendar Dining out Fish fry at Knights of Columbus Hall, Bloomington — Every Friday: 5 to 9 p.m. at 1114 American Blvd. Cost is $10.95. Call (952) 888-1492 for reservations. Chicken and rib dinner at Knights of Columbus Hall, Bloomington — Every Wednesday: 5 to 9 p.m. at 1114 American Blvd. Cost is $10.95. Call (952) 888-1492 for reservations.

Prayer/ liturgies Taizé prayer service at St. Richard, Richfield — August 3: Community meal at 6:15 p.m. followed by service at 7:30 p.m. at 7540 Penn Ave. S. Knights of Columbus traveling rosary at St. Columba, St. Paul — August 5: 2 p.m. at 1327 Lafond Ave. Knights of Columbus traveling rosary at St. Bernard, St. Paul — August 12: 2 p.m. at 187 W. Geranium St.

Parish events Garage sale at St. Stephen, Anoka — August 3 and 4: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at 506 Jackson St. Spiritfest Family Festival at Divine Mercy, Faribault — August 5: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 139 Mercy Drive. HTTP://DIVINE MERCY.CC/SPIRITFEST. Festival at St. John the Baptist, Dayton — August 5: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 18380 Columbus St. Features a chicken dinner, wine tasting, carriage rides and more. Summer Fest at St. Anthony of Padua, Minneapolis — August 5: Polka Mass at 11:30 a.m. followed by food, prizes and live music until 5 p.m. at 804 N.E. Second St. Parish festival at Immaculate Conception, Lonsdale — August 5: Features a roast beef and ham dinner from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., live music, games, ice cream stand and more at 116 Alabama St. S.E. Novena for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Raphael, Crystal — August 7: 7 p.m. at 7301 Bass Lake Road. Novena is held in support of the marriage amendment. FunFest Summer Jam at Immaculate


Don’t Miss Chautauqua at St. Catherine University The annual Summer Chautauqua — held this year from August 8 to 15 — offers a variety of short classes taught by St. Kate’s professors, staff and alumnae on topics ranging from

art to science. Family-friendly events include a Girls Leadership Track, birdhouse building, robotics and an ice cream social. An Irish Ceili dance kicks off the event Aug. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. For information, visit STKATE.EDU/CHAUTAUQUA or call (651) 690-6666. Conception, Columbia Heights — August 10 to 12: Hours are Friday 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 4030 Jackson St. N.E. Outdoor Mass Sunday at 10 a.m. Also features live bands, food, inflatables and more. Summer concert at St. Mary of the Lake, White Bear Lake — August 11: 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at 4690 Bald Eagle Ave. Features Minnesota Music Hall of Fame band, Free and Easy. Admission is $10 per person, and ages 14 and under are free. Corn Days at St. George, Long Lake — August 11 and 12: Event features a Mexican fiesta from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Mass at 9:15 a.m. Sunday followed by a pancake breakfast and parade. Festival continues until 5 p.m. Sunday at the corner of Brown and Watertown Roads. VISIT WWW. CORNDAYS.COM. Harvest Festival at St. Vincent de Paul, Brooklyn Park — August 11 and 12: Features live music food, rides and more at 9050 93rd Ave. N. Faster than the Pastor 5K run Saturday at 8:30 a.m. VISIT WWW.SVDPFASTERTHANTHE PASTOR5K.ORG. Festival at St. Wenceslaus, New Prague — August 11 and 12: Features a polka Mass at 5 p.m. Saturday followed by Euchre tournament, bean bag tournament and video game competition. Continues Sunday with polka Masses at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. followed by a chicken dinner until 2:30 p.m. at 215 E. Main St. Also features games, raffles and music. Ice Cream Social at St. Agnes, St. Paul — August 12: 1 to 3 p.m. at 548 Lafond Ave. Enjoy food, ice cream, music by Bandana and games. Garage sale at All Saints, Lakeville — August 15 to 18: Early-bird sale Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. with $3 admission. Continues Thursday from 9

a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon (half-price and $3 bag sale) at 19795 Holyoke Ave. Festival at Holy Family, St. Louis Park — August 17 and 18: Dinner and auction Friday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Continues Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. with games, a chicken dinner, and live music at 5900 W. Lake St. Visit WWW.HFCMN.ORG. Festival at Nativity of Mary, Bloomington — August 17 and 18: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday at 9900 Lyndale Ave. S. Continues Saturday with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. and a car show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other activities from noon to 10 p.m. VISIT WWW.NATIVITYBLOOM INGTON.ORG. Festival at Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Minneapolis — August 18 and 19: Outdoor Mass at noon Saturday followed by soccer and volleyball tournaments, food and games at 1325 Second St. N.E. Bi-lingual Mass Sunday at 10:30 a.m. followed by championship soccer game, food and more. Blessed Sacrament parish Funfest at St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Paul — August 18 and 19: Begins Saturday with a car show from 3 to 7 p.m. and Music with Bobby Vee and his Rock-n-Roll Caravan from 6 to 10 p.m. Continues Sunday with a hog roast, games pie shop and more at 2119 Stillwater Ave. FunFest at St. Mathias, Hampton — August 19: Begins with a polka Mass at 11 a.m. followed by food from noon to 3:30 p.m. at 23315 Northfield Blvd. Also features games, live music and more. Annual Ho-Down and Polka Mass at Most Holy Trinity, Veseli — August 19: Mass at 11 a.m. followed by a chicken cook-out, home-baked kolacky, games and more at 4939 N. Washington St.

Fall festival at St. Mary of the Purification, Marystown (Shakopee) — August 19: Begins with Mass at 10 a.m. at 15850 Marystown Road, Shakopee. Smorgasbord/turkey dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Features wall of wine, train rides, country store and more. Live music at 4 p.m. Countryfest at St. Boniface, St. Bonifacius — August 19: Hog roast and social begins with a polka Mass at 10:30 a.m. followed by a roast pork dinner at 4025 Main St. Parish picnic at St. Genevieve, Centerville — August 19: Parish picnic and chicken dinner from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 6995 Centerville Road.

Other events Summer Charismatic Conference at Totino-Grace High School, Fridley — August 10 to 11: Theme is “The Light Shines on in the Darkness.’ Begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday at 1350 Gardena Ave. Speakers include Peter Herbeck and Sister Nancy Kellar. Features a Spanish track and children’s program Saturday. Free will offering. To register, visit WWW.MNCRO.ORG. ‘Unveiled: Discovering the Great Mystery of Your Marriage’ at the Old Sacred Heart Church, Faribault — August 17 to 19: 6:30 p.m. Friday to noon Sunday at 524 4th Ave. Bob Schuchts, founder of the Theology of the Body Healing and Training Center will speak. Father Jim Livingston will preside at a healing Mass. For information, visit HTTP://DIVINEMERCY.CC, with north side Minneapolis churches.

School events Open house at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School, St. Louis Park — August 8: 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at 2501 Highway 100 S. Pre-register at WWW.BSMSCHOOL.ORG/ ADMISSIONS.

Singles ‘Sunday Spirits’ walking group for 50plus Catholic singles — ongoing Sundays: For Catholic singles to meet and make friends. The group usually meets in St. Paul on Sunday afternoons. For information, call Judy at (763) 221-3040 or Al at (651) 482-0406.


Calendar Submissions DEADLINE: Noon Thursday, seven days before the anticipated Thursday date of publication. Recurring or ongoing events must be submitted each time they occur. LISTINGS: Accepted are brief notices of upcoming events hosted by Catholic parishes and institutions. If the Catholic connection is not clear, please emphasize it in your press release. ITEMS MUST INCLUDE the following to be considered for publication in the calendar: • Time and date of event. • Full street address of event. • Description of event. • Contact information in case of questions. E-MAIL:


ARCHSPM.ORG. (No attachments, please.)

FAX: (651) 291-4460. MAIL: “Calendar,” The Catholic Spirit, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102.

Event organizers hope music, Gospel message touch young hearts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16 really hits on those very things.” Christ is the answer to every question that humanity poses, Father Vasek said. “This is going to be a very pure and safe place to receive that answer,” he said. “Jesus Christ will be proclaimed simply, truthfully and purely.”

Invite a friend Elegate has a unique evangelistic focus, said Andrea Prisby, SPO administrator and an Elegate organizer. Two hundred students, mission leaders and others from around the country participating in SPO’s School of the New Evangelization at the University of St. Thomas will attend Elegate. Young adults are encouraged to invite friends who may or may not know Christ, she said.

“It’s a challenge to people to say we don’t just want you to come, we want you to bring a friend in your life that doesn’t know Jesus or is on the fence,” Prisby said. “It’s very hard for us sometimes as Catholics to bring a friend like that to Mass depending on where they’re at in their walk with the Lord. This event serves as someplace to bring them to that’s going to be ‘non-Christian friendly.’.” Nate Verschaetse is inviting five to 10 friends to Elegate, including one who is searching in his faith. Verschaetse, a parishioner at St. Mark in St. Paul, didn’t attend Elegate last year but is serving on the event’s planning team. He hopes his friends — and everyone attending — will experience renewal and the Holy Spirit. “I think the great thing about Elegate is that it’s going to help people who are on that path who are seeking

God and desire to find truth in their life,” he said. “I think it’s a natural next step to say, ‘Here is truth in the person of Jesus Christ.’” Elegate organizers and Maher hope this Gospel message touches young people’s hearts so they will “trust One greater.” (The event’s website is WWW.TRUSTONEGREATER.COM.) “I think that music and songs and more so the ministry that can come from it will meet youth and young adults where they currently find themselves culturally and hopefully just kind of pull them forward a little bit,” Maher said. Music plays an important role in that, he said. “It opens up and reveals beauty — trying to draw the edges around a silhouette, the mystery of God.” Read more about Matt Maher at HTTP://MATTMAHERMUSIC.COM.

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Archbishop John C. Nienstedt will present the “Leading With Faith” Awards at a noon luncheon banquet on Wed., August 15, 2012, Rauenhorst Hall, Coeur de Catherine building, St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. For reservations, call Mary Gibbs 651-251-7709 or email PATRON SPONSORS

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Catechism reaffirms importance of Church’s teaching office CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 centeredness in order to live one day in the company of the saints. We are made for love, and divine love at that. And this is where the teaching vocation of the Church, that organ of the Body of Christ which we call the Magisterium, comes in to play. This is the “living voice” of the faith assembly that preserves the fundamental message of Scripture and Tradition, that is to say, love, properly understood and properly lived. The Magisterium serves as a sure guide offering expression and understanding to the formulation of the truths we profess, preserving them from error and transmitting them, whole and entire, to the next generation of believers.

Importance of teaching office Unfortunately, because of a pervasive skepticism about authority in general, many believers today question any statement issued by the Magisterium. This is indeed a problem that threatens the lived reality of the faith and demands on the part of the believer not just a greater openness to the messenger, but a concerted effort to research questions that arise and the Magisterium’s answers to them in light of the Scriptures and

Tradition. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reaffirms the importance of this teaching office of the Church when it states in paragraph 85: “‘The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.’ This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.” My friends, such are the thoughts that come to me after a few weeks of rest and recreation. What you and I are about as “Church” is serious business. Indeed, the salvation of souls weighs in the balance. The effectiveness of our witness to the faith is being strongly challenged these days. But to defend what we believe, we must first know what it is that we do believe. The Magisterium is a great gift that helps provide an answer to such an important question. God bless you!

Nun’s daily walk ends in tragedy By Dave Hrbacek The Catholic Spirit

St. Joseph Sister Mary Beneva Schulte was on her daily walk July 30. The 85year-old sister, who celebrated her 65th jubilee this year, was showing an unusual level of independence that her fellow sisters had come to regard as typical. Tragically, Sister Mary Beneva never made it home. On the corner of Cretin SISTER Avenue and Ford MARY BENEVA Parkway, a little more than a mile from her home at Carondelet Village, she was struck by a truck about 9 a.m. and died that afternoon. According to a report in the StarTribune, authorities investigating the incident said it appeared to be an accident and they were not likely to issue any citations. According to Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet communications director Ann Thompson, Sister Mary Beneva was surrounded in her hospital bed by five other sisters when she died at 1:45 p.m.

“She loved to walk, she was an avid walker and walked every day,” Thompson said. “In fact, I believe she was on her daily walk when she was hit. She would go quite far.” Thompson noted that “honesty and compassion were the things that marked her.” Humility is another thing that could be added to that list as well. “She didn’t like people fussing over her,” Thompson said. “She probably would think all this fuss [about the accident] was over the top.”

Committed to the Gospel Schulte was born in Minneapolis in 1926 and later belonged to Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English/education at the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) and taught in numerous Catholic elementary schools in the Twin Cities. She retired in 2008, but continued doing ministry work for the CSJs, including teaching English as a second language. “She was really committed to living the Gospel message,” Thompson said. “The sisters’ charism is moving always toward profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction. And I think her life really embodied that.”

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“She’s the first Native American. She told herself she can do it, and I’m proud of her. I know that all natives can be saints, and I can believe in Jesus no matter what anybody tells [me].” Ambrosia Redwillow, an 11-year-old member of the Oglala Lakota tribe who attended a July 18-22 conference in Albany, N.Y., focused on Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, who will be canonized as the first Native American saint in October



Quotes from this week’s newsmakers

Running for life

“It just touched my spirit. And just to be among so many AfricanAmericans who know who they are as Christians and . . . are not afraid to let people know that we are black and we are Catholic and that there’s no separation in that was a powerful thing.”

Group trains runners for marathons, spreads pro-life message at events By Catherine McDonough

— Deacon Lawrence Houston, who ministers at St. Peter Claver Parish in New Orleans, speaking July 19 about the National Black Catholic Congress XI in Indianapolis

Catholic News Service

How far would you go to defend life? Life Runners would go about 26.2 miles a race. Founded in South Dakota by running partners Pat Castle and Rich Reich, Life Runners has been promoting Catholicism and the pro-life movement through marathons in some of the nation’s biggest cities since 2008. Castle said Life Runners came out of a prayer group the two men co-founded in 2007 called Life Group Devotions. They decided to create an “action arm” of their ministry. “We started with devotions from the beginning and then it dawned on us. We are training and running marathons, and we are looking for a pro-life ‘action arm,’” Castle told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview from Sioux Falls, S.D. “There was none, I mean zero, organized pro-life teams represented in marathons. There are 5Ks all around but not at the major marathon level.” Life Runners’ goal is to participate in at least one marathon a year. In 2008, it was the Chicago marathon; in 2009, St. Paul-Minneapolis; in 2010, Sioux Falls, S.D.; and 2011, Kansas City, Mo. Castle said the group’s five-member board chooses the location. They “look for fall marathons around the country and then decide where our mission is needed most,” he said.

Praying, running, fundraising Life Runners, now based in St. Louis, is made up of people who pray, run and raise money for pregnancy help centers and build awareness about the abortion issue. Once the location is decided, a pro-life beneficiary is picked, and the organization’s local chapters spend the year fundraising for the designated pro-life entity. “Every penny goes toward the beneficiaries,” Castle noted. The runners wear blue T-shirts with the scriptural quote “REMEMBER The Unborn Jer 1:5” across the back. “We are certainly pro-life missionaries,” Castle said. “We are wearing a jersey like a little mini-billboard, and we are running through the streets of cities in secular races. We are bringing the prolife message into the world. We don’t have to speak a word. We are representing Christ with that message on our back.” Around 500 people from across the

AUGUST 2, 2012

CNS photo / Sid Hastings

Life Runners team member Jeff Pauls, center, of Belleville, Ill., competes in the St. Louis University 2012 Run for Their Lives 5K in early May in St. Louis. Proceeds from the race benefited the university’s Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance fund.

Twin Cities Life Runners chapter seeks new members The Twin Cities chapter of Life Runners is seeking runners of all abilities to share the pro-life message at local and national races and to raise funds for crisis pregnancy centers, according to chapter leader Robyn Steinbrueck. She’s hoping other runners who share her passion for both the pro-life movement and running will get involved. “I think a lot of people enjoy running and they’re looking for a place where they can put some of their beliefs into practice,” said Steinbrueck, a parishioner at St. Michael in St. Michael. “I think that’s a really good motivation to get out there and put your words into action.” The chapter has about five active members who besides running also pray at abortion centers, Steinbrueck said. So far the Twin Cities chapter hasn’t participated in the national organization’s marathons but on Aug. 4, it will run in the Hanover Harvest Festival’s 5K race in Hanover, about three miles south of St. Michael. The chapter won’t raise funds with this run; instead, runners are encouraged to come and check out the group, she said. Steinbrueck also is encouraging runners to participate in the Sept. 15 pro-life 5K run/walk sponsored by St. Bonaventure in Bloomington. For more information about the Twin Cities Life Runners group, email Steinbrueck at ROBYN.STEINBRUECK@ PROVIDENCEACADEMY.ORG. For more information about the Hanover Harvest Festival 5K, visit WWW.HANOVERHARVESTFESTIVAL.COM/2012. For details about the St. Bonaventure pro-life 5K, email JIM_KOEPKE@YAHOO.COM, or call at (952) 884-4372. — Susan Klemond

U.S. currently belong to Life Runners. The organization’s most recent event was a marathon in St. Louis April 15, though the group often has more than just one race per year because local chapters can organize and participate in local races. “We have just taken off,” Castle said. “We have a strategic goal of growing. In 2011, we raised $35,000 before really having an organized fundraising process. It would not surprise me if we raised close to $100,000 this year.” Life Runners’ next race is the St. Louis Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Oct. 21. The event has one-mile, 5K, half and full marathon options. Castle estimates about

400 people will participate with Life Runners. The Life Runners website is HTTP://LIFERUNNERS.ORG. Following the organization on Facebook also grants access to information on upcoming marathons, daily prayers and devotions. “Our motto is ‘All In Christ For ProLife,’” Castle said. “You become the essence of what you are talking about. We have to have the courage to talk about it. We need to plant the seed. We have to make people say, ‘Hey, did you see what’s going on? I want to be part of that.’”

“Even if we got a vaccine tomorrow and a cure on Monday, we have two generations of children who have not been parented. They’re now becoming parents and they’ve never been parented. In the high impact countries that had all the deaths in the late 1990s and early 2000s, nobody is talking about the social and developmental ramifications of not being parented.” — Maryknoll Father Richard Bauer, who runs an HIV education and treatment program in Namibia, speaking about the impact of HIV/AIDS in the context of the XIX International AIDS Conference, held July 22-27 in Washington, D.C.

“People of faith need assurance that they remain free to exercise and express their religious beliefs in public, provided just order be observed, without threat of external pressure to conform to changing societal ‘norms.’” — Missouri Catholic Conference, in support of a proposed “right to pray” amendment to the Missouri Constitution that appears on the statewide ballot Aug. 7

“We do not grieve like those who have no hope. . . . We grieve with the knowledge that neither death nor life can separate us from the love BISHOP CONLEY of God. When we do return to our lives, let us see in this tragedy a reminder that our lives are fleeting and they are precious in God’s sight.” — Denver Auxiliary Bishop James Conley, speaking July 22 during an evening prayer service that drew thousands after a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 at a July 20 midnight screening of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo.

The Catholic Spirit - August 2, 2012  

Steubenville North, Bridging, London 2012, Running for life, Reclaiming Civility