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Vatican II 50th anniversary

11A-14A October 11, 2012

Newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

The Catholic Spirit News with a Catholic heart

Celebrating World Mission Sunday


Marching for Mary and marriage

Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Chris and Amanda Fussy of St. Joseph in New Hope pray the rosary with hundreds of others at the annual archdiocesan Candlelight Rosary Procession Oct. 5. The prayers were dedicated to the efforts to support traditional marriage, and speakers delivered remarks to inspire those gathered at the State Capitol where the procession began. Bishop Lee Piché joined in the procession to the Cathedral of St. Paul along with Bishop Anthony Muheria of the Diocese of Kitui, Kenya, who was here with a delegation from his diocese. For more stories about the marriage amendment, see pages 4A and 7A.

Vespers service at basilica to mark start of Year of Faith The Catholic Spirit Archbishop John Nienstedt will preside at a solemn vespers service at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, liturgically marking the beginning of the Year of Faith within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Vespers is the Latin term for the traditional evening prayer of the church. The prayer at the basilica will include hymns, psalms and a homily by the archbishop “reflecting on the great gift of this coming year,” said Father John Paul Erickson, director of the archdiocesan Office of Worship. Pope Benedict XVI announced the special Year of Faith to help Catholics appreciate the gift of faith, deepen their rela-

tionship with God and strengthen their commitment to sharing faith with others. The year begins Oct. 11 — the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council — and concludes Nov. 24, 2013, the feast of Christ the King. It also marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. “It will be a moment of grace and commitment to an even fuller conversion to God, to reinforce our faith in him and to proclaim him with joy to the people of our time,” the pope said. For more about the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, turn to pages 11A14A.



‘Lily of the Mohawks’ is great mentor for all

That They May All Be One Archbishop John C. Nienstedt

This soon-tobe new saint showed a remarkable desire to live a life of virtue

On Oct. 21, Pope Benedict XVI will canonize Kateri Tekakwitha, the “Lily of the Mohawks” and the first Native American to be proclaimed as a member of the Communion of Saints. This is an historic honor for the faith and the culture of Native Americans in the United States and Canada, as well as an acknowledgment of the courageous spirit of Catholics in the New World. The Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints (Revised, 2003) tells us that Kateri was born around 1656 in the Indian village of Ossernenon, near Auriesville, N.Y., to a Mohawk war chief and his enslaved Algonquin mother who was a Christian. This village had been the site some 10 years previously of the martyrdom of St. Isaac Jogues and St. Jean de Lalande. Kateri’s mother, kidnapped in a raid near Quebec, was a baptized Christian who tried to pass her faith on to her daughter.

diate community. In 1667, Father Jacques de Lamberville, a Jesuit missionary, was allowed to enter the village. He eventually stopped to visit Kateri, at which time she told him of her determination not to marry and of her desire for baptism. The Jesuit priest baptized Kateri on Easter Sunday, 1676, naming her after St. Catherine of Siena. She quickly developed a spirit of prayer and transformed her isolation into spiritual solitude. However, this change was not well received by her family and fellow villagers and she soon moved to a Jesuit mission near Sault Sainte Marie, near Montreal, Canada. There she received her first Holy CNS photo / Nancy Phelan Wiechec Communion on Christmas Day, A statue of Blessed Kateri 1677. She then took a vow of Tekakwitha stands amid chastity and began an exemplary life trees on the grounds of the of prayer and Christian service. shrine dedicated to her in Together with a friend, Maria Fonda, N.Y. Therese Tegaiaguenta, she attempted to found a religious community, but Life-changing experiences was dismissed by the Jesuit directors who could not At the fair age of 4 years, Kateri’s life was irreparably imagine a Native American being a nun. changed when her mother, father and baby brother In 1679, Kateri was struck on the head by a large died of smallpox. While she herself survived the dis- branch of a tree. This led to a gradual decline in ease, it left her with permanent scars to her face and her health and she eventually died on Wednesday nearly blind. She was taken in by an aunt and uncle of Holy Week, in April of 1680 at the young age of in Caughnawaga, N.Y., where she learned the trade 24. of making moccasins and Native American clothIt is said that upon her death, her facial scars dising. appeared and soon apparitions and miracles were No doubt as a result of her physical disfigurement, reported through her intercession. Kateri grew up rather shy and distant from others. Pope Pius XII declared her venerable in 1943 and Early on, she decided she would never marry, a decision that left her at odds with her family and immePLEASE TURN TO KATERI ON PAGE 9A

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Official His Excellency, the Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, has announced the following appointments in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Effective September 11, 2012 ■ Reverend Nathaniel Meyers, appointed a member of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. This appointment will continue until December 31, 2015. Effective September 24, 2012 ■ Reverend Ronald LaFramboise, OMI, granted the faculties of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis for the duration of his appointment as staff member to Christ the King Retreat Center. Effective October 4, 2012 ■ Reverend Mr. Spencer Howe, ordained to the transitional diaconate and granted the faculties of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Seminarian from Ham Lake ordained to diaconate in Rome Catholic News Service Spencer Howe of St. Paul parish in Ham Lake and 32 other men attending the Pontifical North American College in Rome were ordained to the diaconate Oct. 4 in St. Peter’s Basilica by Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, N.J. Hundreds of family members, friends and students filled the pews at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s as they watched the joy-filled liturgy rich in symbolic tradition. Archbishop John Nienstedt was among those at the Mass. The men processed into the basilica to the sounds of the “Laudate Dominum” DEACON HOWE (“Praise the Lord”). Archbishop Myers, a former student at the college and chairman of its board of governors, delivered the homily. He recalled being in Rome during the last sessions of the Second Vatican Council, which, he said, put renewed emphasis on the Word of God, which the new deacons will be called upon to preach and explain. “We Catholics did not always value the Word of God as we should have. The Second Vatican Council and the authentic renewal to which the Holy Spirit called the church changed that,” he said. Those who are called to serve the church as ordained ministers are part of “a great office” whose limits are set “by our failure to love as Jesus loved,” he said. “Who we are and what we have become is like a ‘sounding board’ against which the Word of God reverberates. We must always remember that it is God’s word and not our own,” he said. The reality of being human means being “limited, weak and sinful,” and therefore, the church’s ministers must remember they are dependent on God’s help for fulfilling their mission. They must stay “in contact with the living and public proclamation of the church,” he said.

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved and uncared for.” Blessed Mother Teresa

Local OCTOBER 11, 2012

News from around the archdiocese



Catholic health care workers urged to evangelize culture By Joe Towalski

service of the sick.” The prescription for becoming a saint is simple but not easy, he said: daily prayer, regular confession and frequent reception of holy Communion. In addition to the personal call to holiness, Catholics must also bring their faith into the public square — a challenging prospect at a time when public forms of Christian faith are becoming political targets, said Russell Reno, editor of First Things, a journal published by the Institute on Religion and Public Life. Addressing conference attendees, he said that as society becomes more secular and more people fall into the polling category of “nones” — those who profess no religious affiliation or are anti-religious — Catholics must root themselves in prayer and the mind of the church so they can make good arguments about moral issues facing society.

The Catholic Spirit

Catholic medical professionals are on the front lines of cultural engagement in a society that too often sidelines religious values, fosters moral relativism and loses sight of the dignity of the human person, said Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus. “Your decisions about preserving life have a direct effect not only on the life of a particular patient in a particular instance, but also on the culture — the culture of that person’s family, the culture of your hospital and medical practice, and the culture of our country,” Anderson told more than 600 members of the Catholic Medical Association who met in St. Paul Sept. 27-29. “The new evangelization is about showing the power of God’s love in places that have abandoned it or forgotten it,” he said. Medicine and the new evangelization — the church’s efforts to re-energize the Christian faith in an increasingly secular world — was the theme of the conference, which explored the supportive role Catholic health care professionals can play. “We can talk about the new evangelization all we want in medicine, but until we begin to change the culture, we’re not going to see it happen,” said Dr. John Lane, a radiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who became the association’s president during the conference. “That’s why we spend two full days [at the conference] talking about culture before we ever get to medicine.”

Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, delivers a keynote address Sept. 29 at the Catholic Medical Association convention in St. Paul. He talked about the importance of combining medicine and the new evangelization.

Range of topics Speakers and participants at the gathering addressed topics ranging from the need to protect conscience rights in medicine and overturn the federal Health and Human Services mandate on contraceptive coverage, to the pastoral agenda of Pope Benedict XVI, the need for Catholic heroes in today’s world, and building a culture of life in Catholic universities. Father Joseph Johnson, pastor of Holy Family parish in St. Louis Park, spoke at the gathering about the call to holiness as

the foundation of Catholic health care. “I would posit the root problem of what ails health care in America today is the same lack of love that we find in every other area of our society,” Father Johnson said. “The solution, then, is the same as for every other area: We need saints.” Saints, he said, are people who love God and neighbor “in a heroic manner despite the challenges and temptations,” who follow Jesus’ example of sacrificing for the good of others and who are a “leaven in restoring a compassionate heart to our

Making a difference Such trends speak to the need for Catholic medical professionals to positively influence institutions and policies, said Dr. Robert Tibesar of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and president of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Catholic Physicians Guild. “The greatest threat to health care today is the increasing secularization of our culture,” Tibesar, a member of St. Mark in St. Paul, told The Catholic Spirit. He said Catholic health care workers can practice the new evangelization by modeling Christ in their day-to-day encounters with patients and their families PLEASE TURN TO MEDICAL ON PAGE 4A




Shrine trek proves to be prayerful pilgrimage By Dave Hrbacek The Catholic Spirit

Susan Zachman had extra joy when she arrived at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. the morning of Oct. 2. She almost didn’t make the trip from her farm near Albertville. “I kept pondering it and pondering it and didn’t commit until this week [a few days before the trip],” said Zachman, a member of St. Albert who owns and operates a dairy farm with her husband Dale. “I called and [the staff person at the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life] said all of the buses were full.” Thinking she had missed her chance, Zachman decided to call back to be placed on a waiting list. That’s when the surprising news came. “When I called, she said, ‘We had some cancellations at our Edina location,’” Zachman said. “I said, ‘Thank you, Lord, you opened the door. Now, we can go.’” The “we” in this case was Zachman and her daughter Chelsea. Being the only daughter among eight children, Susan thought it would be good for the two females in the household to get away for a day together. The two were among 290 people from 75 parishes across the archdiocese filling six buses that made the three-hour trek to the shrine, where Bishop Lee Piché delivered a keynote address, plus celebrated Mass in the shrine church. He encouraged participants to use the pilgrimage as a kickoff to the Year of Faith, which begins Oct. 11 and lasts until November 2013. Those who made the trip enjoyed a beautiful fall day, plus splotches of fall color lighting up the grounds, not to mention time for prayer, reflection and time in the outdoors. “I like going on retreats and I have not been on a pilgrimage before,” said Ann Wanchena of Our Lady of Grace in Edina. “I really wanted just a dedicated time away for prayer and contemplation.”

Above, Melissa Gonzalez of St. John the Evangelist in Hopkins prays before Mass Oct. 2 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Bishop Lee Piché led the pilgrimage, which included a keynote talk, lunch and Mass. Left: Bishop Lee Piché addresses those attending the pilgrimage during Mass. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Canadian panel members share their experience of same-sex marriage law By Barb Ernster The Catholic Spirit

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, Ontario, and other Canadians led a panel discussion on the impact of the 2005 same-sex marriage law on parental and religious rights in Canada, and what a similar law could do to Minnesota if marriage is redefined. Several hundred people, including Catholic clergy, attended the Monday morning event at the University of St. Thomas Law School, which was sponsored by the Minnesota ARCHBISHOP Catholic Conference. PRENDERGAST The archbishop presented a series of cases that have occurred before the Canadian Human Rights Commission since the Civil Marriage Act came into effect, in which people’s religious rights and freedoms have been trumped by “hate speech” laws. Oftentimes the charges are ambiguous but can lead to thousands of dollars in fines or worse. Few of these cases are covered by the media and many decisions include gag orders, so you never hear of

them, the archbishop told the audience. “This is not China; this is Canada,” he said, adding that “worrisome trends” are developing in the form of enforcement of same-sex marriage and lifestyles through coercion. These include harassment of Christians who stand up for their beliefs, public embarrassment, loss of employment, reversal of tax-exempt status, and numerous trivial lawsuits that in some cases have forced businesses to close.

Chilling effect Despite concessions in the law to provide for the freedom of religion for churches and religious groups, “there has been a definite chill among those who have legitimate reasons to oppose some rights for homosexuals,” Archbishop Prendergast said. “Part of this is from the antihate speech mechanisms in Canada that applies fines, apologies and forced sensitivity training.” He quoted Bishop Frederick Henry of Calgary, Alberta, who was summoned before the commission in 2005 to defend his pastoral letter defining Catholic teaching on same-sex marriage: “Human rights laws designed as a shield are now being used as a sword. The issue is rarely truth formation, but rather censorship, and applying a particular theology through

threats, sanctions and punitive measures.” Jordan Lorence, a lawyer and senior vice-president for the Alliance Defending Freedom, gave a presentation on similar cases appearing in the United States. Swedish Christian pastor Ake Green then told his story of being jailed for presenting the Christian teaching on samesex relationships in a homily to his congregation. His story (WWW.AKEGREEN.ORG) made international news and produced an outcry in Europe. He told the audience to show courage and resolve, and stand together. “Never stop preaching the truth,” he said.

Other impacts A second panel discussion focused on the impact of the law on education and parental rights. Phil Lees of Public Education Advocates for Christian Equity (PEACE), who spent most of his career in public education, said the same-sex marriage law had an immediate effect on Canadian schools. “It was the tipping point that opened the floodgates to curriculum and a school environment that affirms same-sex marriage, alternative sexual lifestyles and the related values,” he said. PLEASE TURN TO CANADIANS ON PAGE 6A

Medical professionals called to practice new evangelization CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3A and by participating in management and ethical leadership roles in their hospitals and clinics. “In doing so, we can serve as a voice of reason and Christian compassion in what can otherwise be a cold and utilitarian medical setting,” he said. “Hopefully, over time, this will serve to transform these institutions into places respectful of our human dignity and a moral code based on God’s natural law.” Catholic physicians guilds, such as the one in the Twin Cities, provide medical professionals with a network of support to learn more about their faith and ethical issues as well as offer a way to provide public witness, Tibesar added.

‘Boot camp’ created During the conference, the Catholic Medical Association announced a new initiative on the education front: It will sponsor an annual “boot camp” starting next year for medical students that will provide an intensive immersion in the life and teachings of the church as they relate to medicine. The organization’s general assembly also passed two resolutions of note in St. Paul — one opposing the HHS mandate and another affirming marriage as between a man and a woman.




Three parishes share stewardship success stories to create a parish accountability report for parishioners and continue the planned giving program outlined in the stewardship planner/toolkit (available at WWW. ARCHSPM . ORG / DEPARTMENTS / DEVELOPMENT -STEWARDSHIP; click on “stewardship toolkit”).

The following is the second in a three-part series on stewardship. By Kristi Anderson For The Catholic Spirit

Catholics understand stewardship as a way of life — as an opportunity and responsibility to receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord. Three parishes contacted by The Catholic Spirit shared how they are nurturing stewardship in the daily lives of their members through prayer, social media and ongoing formation.

Social media as a tool Holy Name of Jesus in Medina recently bolstered its social media campaign geared toward engaging and informing parishioners about stewardship by promoting its presence on Facebook and Twitter. “We have one Facebook page for our parish and school, and another Facebook page and a Twitter account for our youth ministry program,” said Nicole Mamura, communications coordinator for the parish. “We try to post daily and vary our content to include information about current ministries and events, blog posts, opportunities for faith formation, photos, shoutouts to parishioners involved in ministries or celebrating successes as well as sharing articles from other Catholic publications and blogs,” she said. As with any pilot program, the parish is still working out the bugs. “One of the biggest challenges,” Mamura said, “is trying to figure out what content will resonate with the audience — what will drive them to click ‘like’ or leave a comment. Photos usually are popular, as are posts related to our youth and school.” The parish focuses specifically on stewardship by directing parishioners to online testimonials from other parishioners about sharing their time and talent. “It’s very rewarding when you see people truly sharing their experiences at Holy Name of Jesus and building community

Forming disciples

Living your strengths Workshops on starting and facilitating a Living Your Strengths Program in your parish will be held later this month in St. Paul. Participants will learn how to help parishioners discern how to recognize and use their talents as stewards. Two workshop sessions are available: ■ Two sessions over two days — from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23 and Tuesday, Oct. 30; or ■ One all-day session from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. All sessions will be held in Smith Hall in the Hayden Center, 328 W. Kellogg Blvd., in St. Paul. Cost is $65. For more information or to register, visit: WWW.ARCHSPM.ORG/DEPARTMENTS/DEVELOPMENTSTEWARDSHIP and then click on “News & Events.”

through Facebook,” Mamura said. “We experienced this clearly in February, when Father Arnold Weber, who was pastor here for over 20 years, passed away. So many parishioners shared their memories of him on our Facebook page. It was touching to see how this means of communication — which hadn’t even been launched yet while Father Arnold was pastor — could be used to continue his ministry.”

Prayer and understanding St. Bernard in Cologne, a rural community of 250 families, launched stewardship efforts following the guidance provided in the archdiocesan parish stewardship planner/toolkit. “October, a time for harvest, works well for our parish to celebrate stewardship,” said Roger Storms, chair of the stewardship committee and lifelong member of St.


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Bernard. “By praying about stewardship, we need to consider our return to the Lord first, for all the gifts the Lord has given us,” he said. “Our goal is to help parishioners be good stewards of their time, talent and treasure,” Storms said. “The biggest challenge is in making a commitment. We are asking people to commit their time, through prayer and worship; their talent, through volunteering for ministries; and through their treasure, by financially supporting the parish.” A challenge St. Bernard faces is that it has no paid staff to manage volunteers or follow up with parishioners. “This year we have a contact person listed for each ministry who will be able to answer questions about the ministry and do follow-up contact,” Storms said. Through these efforts, St. Bernard plans

St. John the Baptist in New Brighton is shaking up its parish renewal campaign through its initiative “One Spirit — Many Gifts.” “Rather than extending separate invitations for different parish giving appeals, we are extending one invitation that covers our annual stewardship appeal for pledges of time, talent and treasure, our capital campaign appeal and our planned giving appeal,” said the pastor, Father Michael Skluzacek, in a letter to his parishioners. “By consolidating the three appeals into one, we hope to save parish staff time and financial resources — and hopefully give parishioners one all-inclusive document to prayerfully consider how each is being called to stewardship,” he said. Father Skluzacek offers prayerful reflections and challenges parishioners with questions in each of five pledge areas: prayer, personal service, Sunday giving, capital pledges and planned giving. “Does this pledge of prayer reflect the amount and kind of prayer that Jesus is calling me to? Or can I do more?” is just one example of the questions Father Skluzacek asks parishioners to ponder. “One Spirit — Many Gifts” is based on an understanding and an internalization of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ landmark document, “Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response.” “‘One Spirit — Many Gifts’ is focused not just on financial goals, but on alignment of parish staff and leadership around the bishops’ document,” said Alan Foley, business administrator. “Most importantly, it is focused on formation, fostering an understanding among the faithful of what the church teaches about stewardship and above all, forming parishioners as disciples.”




Canadians reflect on marriage law CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4A By 2009, the Ministry of Education mandated that all schools, public and private, begin the process of integrating this instruction, and government legislation affirms this direction. One program — described as completely relativistic and requiring children to question their own religious upbringing — was required of homeschool and private schools, which are not exempt from the mandates. If same-sex marriage is legalized in Minnesota, the new law will require the public schools to change the curriculum to align with the new definition of marriage and the related sexual alternative content, said Lees. “Experience shows that whenever same-sex marriage becomes law, children will be exposed to an increasingly sexualized curriculum and school environment at an early age, as early as kindergarten.” Some school boards have decreed that children cannot be removed from instruction about homosexuality because of their religious objections. Christian father and dentist Steve Tourloukis testified about his attempts to get a declarative judgment giving parents the right to be notified in advance of such curriculum. His request has been denied, and media editorials have described his actions as “sinister” and part of a “massive right wing conspiracy.” Yet, requests to get advance notice on math curriculums and other subjects are not denied, he said. “Do the people of Minnesota want to live in a state where you have to go to court to find out what your children are learning? This is not hyperbole,” he said. “The dispersion of parental rights is typical in jurisdictions where marriage has been redefined. There has already been a case in Massachusetts.”

Getting a say Albertos Polizogopoulos, a lawyer and advocate for parental rights in Canada, told the audience that unlike

“Do the people of Minnesota

want to live in a state where you have to go to court to find out what your children are learning? This is not hyperbole.

STEVE TOURLOUKIS Christian father and dentist

Minnesota, Canadians did not get a say in the samesex marriage law, “it was thrust upon us by the courts.” The law not only redefined marriage, but family, as in cases where a child has two mothers and a biological father. It has also taken the focus of marriage off the children and put it on the adults, he said, and the unintended consequences are far-reaching. There have been several hundred human rights cases brought against people who are simply voicing their opinion in letters to the editors or speaking in a public forum. Lorence summed up the battle against redefining marriage as similar to the battle against the Arian heresy of the third century, which was growing in acceptance among Christians. St. Athanasius went to his grave not knowing whether the doctrine of the deity of Christ would prevail in church teaching. “It’s more important to be diligent and keep fighting on this. We need to be faithful and do what’s right and leave the results to God,” he said. “Future generations of people are dependent on us.”

Archdiocese’s chancellor for civil affairs to retire The Catholic Spirit Andrew J. Eisenzimmer, chancellor for civil affairs and legal counsel for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis since 2005, is retiring, effective Dec. 31. The archdiocese made the announcement Oct. 2 and said it is undertaking a search to identify candidates to succeed Eisenzimmer, who has agreed to serve as a consultant for a period of time to assist with the transition. “Andy has served this archdiocese extraordinarily well during his time as chancellor,” Archbishop John Nienstedt said. “I have extended to him my gratitude for the excellent service he has given to me and this local church as well as for his faithful and diligent work on behalf of this EISENZIMMER archdiocese. We will miss him.” Before joining the archdiocese, Eisenzimmer, 64, spent 28 years as legal counsel with the Twin Cities’ law firm of Meier, Kennedy & Quinn, which represents the archdiocese. A graduate of the University of Minnesota (business/accounting, 1973) and William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul (1977), Eisenzimmer, in addition to serving as legal counsel to the archdiocese and the archbishop, has served the Minnesota Catholic Conference and many other religious organizations. He also worked as trial and appellate counsel for numerous clients at all court levels. A frequent lecturer on legal topics related to religious organizations and the First Amendment, he has been active in the National Diocesan Attorneys Association and served on its executive committee for many years. Eisenzimmer and his wife Joan will divide their time between their homes in the Twin Cities and Austin, Texas.

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Living with same-sex attraction Five Catholics describe joys, struggles of embracing chastity Roundtable participants The five participants in the roundtable discussion on same-sex attraction in the Catholic church all are local Catholics. Their names have been changed to protect their identities. The following are brief descriptions of each participant: “Ed” is 51 and works in sales for a graphics company. He was raised Catholic, left the church for 20 years after graduating from college, and came back 10 years ago. He lived the gay lifestyle for a time, then went through a program called Living Waters, a Christian program designed to help those seeking healing from sexual and relational brokenness. He lives in St. Paul and belongs to a local Catholic parish. “Rose” is 33 and works in law enforcement. She grew up in Texas, where her family left the Catholic Church when she was 5. The family returned when she was 11, and she began struggling with same-sex attraction when she was 14. After being in a relationship, she had a conversion and began to follow church teaching. She did volunteer ministry for two years and also went through the Living Waters program. She lives in St. Paul and belongs to a parish. “Thomas” is 62 and works in the graphic arts field. He was raised Protestant in a small town in Iowa and joined the Catholic Church in his early 30s. He began struggling with same-sex attraction in junior high, but stopped being sexually active when news of the AIDS epidemic broke in 1981. He lives in St. Paul and attends Mass regularly, but does not belong to a parish. “Laura” is 47 and works in the health care industry. She grew up in a small, Midwestern town and was raised Catholic. She started struggling with same-sex attraction and had a female partner for 11 years before coming back to the Catholic Church in 2000. She lives in St. Paul and belongs to a parish, where she serves as a captain to help promote the marriage amendment. She also went through the Living Waters program, and gives credit for her return to the church to a friend who committed to pray daily that she would leave the gay lifestyle and come back to the church. “Nick” is 56 and works in customer service. He was born in Decatur, Ill., and was raised Catholic. He suffered sexual abuse by a neighbor boy when he was 5, and later fell into the gay lifestyle. He learned of the Catholic Church’s Courage program for those struggling with same-sex attraction, and went to a Courage conference in 2008. After leaving the church for a time, he came back, and now serves as a captain for his parish in St. Paul. He currently lives in the western suburbs.

Five Catholics with same-sex attraction recently sat down for a roundtable interview with Catholic Spirit staff writer and photographer Dave Hrbacek. All are now living chaste lives and following church teaching on sexuality and agreed to talk about their experiences. They represent voices that haven’t been widely heard in the current debate over the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman — a measure they all support. The following is an edited version of the interview. Why have you chosen to live chastely in accord with church teaching? Ed: I first had inklings of same-sex attraction when I was younger. But I think it really hit me in college when I couldn’t deny it. I think I was in my junior year when I realized that this was going to be setting the pace for the rest of my life. I had to make some decisions about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Growing up I was very blessed to be part of a really strong Catholic family. We have six children in our family. With the love that my family showed me, I realized there is so much more to life than just being identified by a characteristic — whether you’re short or tall, any type of characteristic. When I first realized that I had samesex attraction, my first inclination was just feeling sorrow and the fear. . . . I just felt like I was free falling because everything I had known was based on family and on church. Somehow, I felt like this excluded me from the church — this struggle and just having same-sex attraction. I remember I felt like I lost my bearings at that moment because I didn’t know what this meant. Was I accepted by my family? Was I going to be accepted in the church? I think when I got to the very bottom, I just had a deep sense of peace and love, and I realized that [it] was Christ. That was all I could hang on to was that anchor of Christ. There’s that living Christ that you have an encounter with, and I seriously think I had that when I was in college. It’s just undeniable that I felt so much love and direction for the rest of my life. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I think at that moment I really caught a glimpse of Christ, and some of the people, like the high school leader at my church [and] the youth ministry leader came to mind. I thought of a lot of people who loved me regardless of my struggle, and those people really went back to the church. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I came out to my mom. I had kind of understood the church teaching that homosexual acts were wrong. But I never heard the opposite, that the attraction, in itself, wasn’t sinful. In its teaching, the church says it doesn’t know what the genesis of the orientation is, but that just because you have same-sex attraction, you still have a dignity and people need to treat you with respect. I think once I heard that teaching, it filled in the other part for me. I felt, having attraction, I was still accepted in the church. And, not only accepted, but loved. From that point on, I was never in a relationship where I participated in any of the [sexual] activities. Rose: I’m going to be brutally honest.

“That’s my hope for this

story — that people realize that I have embraced life, I have embraced the church’s teachings and I am fulfilled and I have a great life.


For me, it’s different at different times. I think the underlying truth is that it’s because it’s what’s right, and I know it in my being. I know it in my heart that following what Christ has laid out through the church is what’s right, and that’s why I choose it. Laura: I think for me a very key turning point for me in my life — and it wasn’t an immediate turning point, it took several more years — was this friend of mine who prayed for me all of those years. At some point in my journey, she asked me to come and see her and I did go. I went to confession, and I’ve never looked back. The other key piece for me is St. Augustine’s saying of our hearts are restless until they rest in the Lord. The Catholic Church is the place that I have so much available to me, through the sacraments. Every day, I can personally visit him in an adoration chapel. There are 40 to 50 adoration chapels in the Twin Cities area. I can go to Communion and receive him in the Eucharist every single day. I can celebrate confession as frequently as I want to, probably not as much as I should. I am provided food for the journey and it has been a tremendous gift. The other piece of the pie is that my faith as a Catholic does not discriminate. It asks of my married friends, my single friends, my courting friends, my friends that struggle with same-sex attraction to live a holy and chaste life, and that’s what we should strive for. It doesn’t discriminate. It’s not telling me I cannot love. It’s telling me how I should express it in an appropriate fashion and what the church teaches about that. And, when you actually have a full understanding of that, it is a beautiful, beautiful gift that we have. Nick: I think that one of the things that made me choose it [chastity] was it had to be about love. I had to figure out what that was going to look like. Some of the chaplains and people in Courage [an apostolate of the Catholic Church that ministers to people with same-sex attraction], their ordination, their celibacy, their gift, I get to see that they love freely, that very witness of their life. They are free to love, and they’ve been a good reminder that I’m free to love, too. So, when I look at them, sometimes it makes it easier to say, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want. I want to walk with Jesus, I want to be free to love.’ And, I realize that no one will ever love me like he does. So, I think

the witnesses of other Christian men and women made me choose [chastity]. Very often, it was a choice I had to make every day. Every day, I had to say, ‘Jesus, give me the gift of chastity and the gift of fidelity and the gift of humility today. Help me to walk with you today because yesterday is already gone.’ So, I need that strength to be able to experience and to share in that love on a daily basis. What have you received from the church that has been helpful or supportive in your effort to live a chaste life and be a faithful Catholic. Thomas: No. 1, it’s just the position spelled out in the catechism. For a 2,000year-old by nature conservative institution to spell out a policy on homosexuality and homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior as soundly, as sensitively and fairly as it has is just miraculous. It’s astonishing. Living life as a homosexual can be pretty scary. Thank God for the love of God. No. 2, thank God for the church because the church has given us a tremendous gift in the sanity that is in the catechism. Nick: The sacraments. Mass and confession. I think if you were to ask me what do you see five years down the line, my only answer is whatever God has planned as long as it’s with Jesus. What can the church do to minister to those with same-sex attraction? Rose: First and foremost, for priests to know the church’s teaching and to lovingly enforce it in confession. What I mean by that is there’s been a few times I’ve gone to confession and I’ve been told that it doesn’t matter as long as I’m a good person; it doesn’t matter what I do. And, that was confessing sexual sins . . . . It is not helpful. Thank God for the wonderful, faithful priests that do [speak truth], that hear [my confession] and they don’t even flinch. They just remind me of God’s love and they remind me about the sacraments, they remind me about practicing self-denial and praying to Mary. Those are the priests that are so valuable. Ed: If people acquaint themselves with the teaching, they’ll be able to better understand people who have SSA, especially at the point when somebody’s a young person who is telling their parents about their SSA. PLEASE TURN TO CATHOLICS ON PAGE 8A




Catholics with same-sex attraction talk about living chastely CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7A I know with my own mother when I told her, the first thing she said to me was that she would always love me. There is nothing I could ever do that she would stop loving me. But, she told me I had some decisions to make. At that point, I was going to her to test her, to test the waters and see where she was at with it all. I had no idea. When she really held out the truth, I just saw that as a real act of love. She was able to converse with me about what the church taught. I had never heard the church teaching. I was 24. I was going to the library and reading books and trying to find out the truth on homosexuality. Is it right, is it wrong? I think at that point, when she was able to present the truth with an informed conscience, that was a crucial turning point in my life. It set the course for what I thought about the church and the church’s teaching. Laura: We’re not talking about [samesex attraction and unions] until it’s put up for a vote, so we’re behind the eightball. Regardless of the outcome of this vote, we as a church need to continue to look at this, to address the issues, to talk about healthy families and marriages, and have some adult formation. We’ve started to open these lines of communication. My hope in sharing this kind of a story with people is to say there are people that are living great, terrific, fulfilling lives that have struggled with same-sex attractions that are finding fulfillment in the Catholic Church and support from the Catholic Church. That’s my hope for this story — that people realize that I have embraced life, I have embraced the church’s teachings and I am fulfilled and I have a great life. How do you respond to the accusation that those who support the amendment

hate gays? Nick: With incredulity. It’s like saying, ‘If you don’t believe our point of view, you don’t really breathe or love or feel.’ And, we do love and breathe and feel just like they do. I think part of it is when you have someone that’s guiding your life in a different way, on a level of faith, there are some things that we do now that make perfect sense to us as human beings who happen to have a faith that animates our life. For others who have chosen to believe differently, maybe they have not experienced that faith in the same way in their lives and they don’t understand the context for our choice. I think very often they really do think that the only thing they can imagine to be loving is to support the whole GLBT agenda. And, if you don’t do that, then you don’t love gay people or you’re not for their rights. There are some things that the gay community has done that are wonderful over the years, in terms of people being able to openly work on housing, different things that the church agrees with that is unjust discrimination. But, there is such a thing as just discrimination, and that’s what they fail to see. So, I don’t hate people, I love them, a lot of people dearly. Ed: One time in high school, somebody wrote a derogatory comment on my folder. I went out to get a drink and when I came back, it was written there. And, the friends I was with told me, ‘Oh, don’t mind those people, they don’t know what they’re saying and doing.’ It was very hurtful and I found that really changed my perspective. In high school, I started to become fearful of people because I had never experienced that [hate] before. All I had felt was love from my church and from my family. To have something like that happen, I understand

the hurt of that. I wish more people would see that because we really aren’t the haters. I love the people in this room, and I’ve known these people for years. The comradery and the friendship that I’ve been able to build is so substantial, and I think you find this bigger support in the church itself, not only among fellow people with SSA, but just people in the church. I’ve been able to be open about this with so many Catholics, and I find such a great reception. Given your experience with same-sex attraction, do you see yourself as being effective in this discussion that we’re having right now in this culture? Ed: I think everybody knows it’s a heated debate and divisive, and I think there’s people in the gap that are willing to understand the struggle and to see both sides, but yet be able to talk about a choice that people don’t understand, and that is chastity and living according to church teaching. Thomas: I think the whole issue of chastity really puts things in perspective. There’s this idea so firmly fixed in popular culture that if you’re not having frequent licit or illicit sex, there’s something wrong with you. You’re not healthy emotionally or psychologically. It’s just not true, and the church knows that. It’s not just priests and religious and the knights of the Holy Grail who practice chastity. Look around you. All sorts of people are doing it all the time. It’s perfectly normal and it works. Finding yourself in a position where you’re acutely aware of that puts you very much at odds with the popular culture, which is raining down on us through the media all the time. It does throw you into the battle, and makes things clear to you and puts you in a position to be able to join the battle.

Ed: I think the biggest thing for me no matter what side I’m on, I just hope that Catholics would vote their faith above anything else. It’s hard to get to that point, but I think our faith has to guide our vote. For me, I’m just trying to understand if somebody is voting for me, thinking I’m SSA and not living a chaste life, I hope that they would vote their faith over their feelings toward me. Just really dig deep. I think that’s basically what I think we’re called to do. I’ve been open with a lot of people about my SSA and living a chaste life. I think if I just talk to them and be real with them and let them know that I’ve chosen the chaste life, it’s OK for them also, that they should vote also on their faith as I’ve chosen to do. Nick: I think there’s a tendency in the culture that when anything that is opposed to the GLBT point of view comes out, there is this rabid response. And, one of the responses very often is, ‘Well, you’re trying to get me to change.’ And, I think the church in its wisdom says, ‘No, we’re not calling you to change, but we’re calling everyone to live the Gospel, and everyone is welcome.’ I think, especially for the Catholic Church, because of the way that she does welcome people, the way that she does hold out the truth and the compassion of Christ, that it’s very important. There are going to be some people out there that have tried to change. They’ve prayed and they’ve prayed and they’ve prayed, and nothing has happened. So, I think that’s really important to remember or point out — this isn’t about having people with same-sex attraction become people without same-sex attraction. This is about people who are committed to living the Gospel who happen to have samesex attraction. There’s a much bigger difference.

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Local Kateri overcame many trials in her life CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2A Pope John Paul II beatified her in June of 1980. When the latter did so, he noted that Kateri was not just an important figure for the Native American community, but a model for all Christians throughout the world. He said: “All of us are inspired by the example of this young woman of faith . . . . We are all edified by her complete trust in the Providence of God, and we are encouraged by her joyful fidelity to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This soon-to-be new saint showed a remarkable desire to live a life of virtue, dedicated to her heavenly Father. She knew her destiny was to live with Him in heaven. That confidence allowed her to overcome the trials she endured here on earth. In this, she proves to be a great mentor for all of us. The Tekakwitha League in Auriesville, N.Y., proposes this prayer for her intercession: “O St. Kateri Tekakwitha, in your life you experienced pain, sorrow and hardship. Yet in all things you found joy and peace in believing in Jesus, present to us in the Eucharist and in His love expressed to us on the Cross. “O great Lily of the Mohawks, we ask that you take our intentions to the foot of the Cross. Ask Jesus, our loving Savior, to bring healing to those who are heavily burdened. “Through your intercession, may this favor be granted if such be according to the will of God. By your prayer, help us always to remain faithful to Jesus and to his Holy Church. “St. Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.” God love you!



‘American Bible Challenge’ popularity growing By Chelsea Weikart Catholic News Service

The “American Bible Challenge” has been watched by more than 2 million people in the United States every Thursday night since its debut Aug. 23, making it the most successful show in Game Show Network history. And to the surprise of its creators, an app based on the cable TV show is doing almost as well. Stephen Croncota, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for GSN, said in an interview with Catholic News Service that he knew there was a market for the app, but not one this great. “We were hoping for 100,000 game players, now it’s about a month and we have 300,000 players and over 3 million game plays,” he said. The show is sponsored by the New York-based American Bible Society, a 200year-old nonprofit organization whose mission is to make the Bible available and understandable to everyone. Hosted by comedian and TV personality Jeff Foxworthy, best known for his role in the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, “American Bible Challenge” is a trivia game where the winners give away their prize money to a charity of their choice.

Filling a need “We’ve always believed there was a big opportunity for interactment in the show because of the number of Christians and Catholics who have a lifetime of knowledge” of the Bible, said Croncota, a former altar boy and Catholic school stu-

CNS photo / courtesy GSN

The “American Bible Challenge” app for iPhone, Android, iPad and Facebook currently is the No.1 Bible trivia game among the top-10 free trivia games on iTunes. The game show on cable has been watched by more than 2 million people in the United States every Thursday night since its debut Aug. 23, making it the most successful program in Game Show Network in history.

dent himself. The sudden popularity of the show, Croncota said, is in part because there is a hole in American entertainment for something the whole family can enjoy. “The audience feels their faith and the role it plays in their lives is being respected and validated,” said Croncota. “So parents feel comfortable sitting down with their kids in the room for a show; this is something parents and kids can watch together.” “It’s such a big hit we are thinking of

how to make the show bigger and better for many years to come. I would say that the Catholic community and others who have been passionate are the reason it can continue,” he told CNS. One of the 300,000 players who downloaded the game app is Alison Shaffer, a New Jersey mother and author of a blog called “Kitchen Table.” She says she isn’t a game player, but this is different. “It brings the Bible off the bookshelf and into your life. It’s a modern kind of Bible learning,” she said.

“Our role in the new evangelization is to cooperate with God. We can only let people know what God has done.” Pope Benedict XVI, speaking Oct. 8 at the opening session of the world Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization



News from around the U.S. and the globe

OCTOBER 11, 2012

‘Tsunami of secularism’ called challenge for evangelization By Cindy Wooden

that Christians are not called to scold others, but to share the good news of salvation in Christ, lived out in his body, the church. “The new evangelization must speak about God’s universal salvific will and, at the same time, recognize that Jesus has provided a clear and unique path to redemption and salvation,” the cardinal said. “The church is not one among many ways to reach God, all of them equally valid.” The teaching of the church, he said, is what verifies the truth of what people preach as they try to share the Gospel with others, and the church is the means through which God distributes his grace, particularly through the sacraments. Cardinal Wuerl told synod members that as they spend the next three weeks looking at almost every area of church life and at a variety of opportunities and barriers to new evangelization, their task would be to respond with “boldness or courage, connectedness to the church, a sense of urgency and joy.”

Catholic News Service

Catholic efforts to reach out to lapsed members must show them the relevance of faith today, but “must do so without losing its rootedness in the great living faith tradition of the church,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington told Pope Benedict XVI and bishops from around the world gathered at the Vatican. Cardinal Wuerl, appointed by the pope as relator of the world Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, introduced the synod’s work Oct. 8 with a global overview of the challenge of evangelization today, and laid out the values that he said must be the foundaCARDINAL WUERL tion of the church’s outreach. Speaking in Latin, the cardinal addressed the pope, synod members, experts and observers for more than 45 minutes. The cardinal said a “tsunami of secularism” has washed across the world, leaving in its wake a tendency to deny God’s existence, or to deny that God’s existence is relevant to human thinking and action. Yet, without God “the very understanding of what it means to be human is altered,” he said. A key task of the new evangelization is to help people see that human dignity and human rights flow from the fact that human beings are created in God’s image, he said. The new evangelization, initiated by Blessed John Paul II and enthusiastically embraced by his successor, is a project

Called to reflect At a news conference following his speech, Cardinal Wuerl was asked if the synod would examine and acknowledge ways, such as the clerical sex abuse crisis, in which the church has alienated Catholics. “The church is always called to reflect on herself,” the cardinal said. “Every member of the church is called to ask, ‘Am I living out the faith to the fullest?’” The synod members must ask themselves: “How well are we proclaiming Christ?” he said. “It’s not a matter of words; it’s also a matter of actions, it’s a matter of how we respond to others, it’s also a matter of our prayer life.”

aimed at reviving Christian faith in increasingly secular societies. “Whatever we hope to achieve in this synod and whatever pastoral goals we set for re-proposing Christ to this age, we must do so firmly rooted in the biblical vision of man created in the image and likeness of God, as part of a creation that reflects God’s wisdom and presents a natural, moral order for man’s activities,” Cardinal Wuerl said.

The cardinal told the synod, which runs to Oct. 28, that too many Catholics do not know the church’s basic prayers or teachings, don’t understand why it’s important to go to Mass, and rarely go to confession. The church must reach out to them, he said, sharing the faith and educating them with the contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Wuerl told the synod members

abbess to the roster of doctors of the universal church. The pope proclaimed the new doctors, St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen, at Mass Oct. 7 in St. Peter’s Square, where the thousands in attendance included pilgrims waving Spanish flags, and German nuns in traditional habits. In his homily, Pope Benedict said that St. John, “a profound expert on the sacred Scriptures,” knew how to “penetrate in a uniquely profound way the mysteries of the redemption worked by Christ for humanity.” Noting St. Hildegard’s knowledge of medicine, poetry and music, the pope called her a “woman of brilliant intelligence, deep sensitivity and recognized spiritual authority. The Lord granted her a prophetic spirit and fervent capacity to discern the signs of the times.” The doctors of the church, saints honored for particularly important contribu-

tions to theology and spirituality, come from both the Eastern and Western church traditions. The 35 doctors include early church fathers such as Sts. Jerome, John Chrysostom and Augustine, and theologians such as Sts. Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure and John of the Cross, but also St. Therese of Lisieux, who was honored by Blessed John Paul II in 1997, despite her lack of scholarly accomplishment. St. Hildegard is the fourth female doctor of the church, joining Sts. Therese, Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avila.

leaking private papal correspondence and other confidential documents.

Papal butler found guilty, gets 18 months

Gabriele was arrested in May after Vatican police found papal correspondence and other items in his Vatican apartment; many of the documents dealt with allegations of corruption, abuse of power and a lack of financial transparency at the Vatican.

Briefly Catholics urged to renew commitment to life During October, designated each year as Respect Life Month by the U.S. Catholic Church, Catholics should “renew their personal commitment to defend all human life, especially the most vulnerable members of the human family,” said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities has published a packet of materials for priests, parish groups and other organizations. Visit WWW.USCCB.ORG/RESPECTLIFE.

Pope adds two saints to list of church ‘doctors’ Pope Benedict added a 16th-century Spanish priest and a 12th-century German

A three-judge panel of Vatican jurists found Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler, guilty of aggravated theft and sentenced him to 18 months in jail for his role in

The verdict was read Oct. 6 by Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president of the three-judge panel, just two hours after the fourth and final session of the trial. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters Pope Benedict was informed of the results of the trial immediately and was studying the matter. Father Lombardi said he believed it was likely the pope would pardon Gabriele, although he had no idea when that would occur.

— Catholic News Service



10 ways the council shapes our church today


The Catholic Church marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council by Blessed Pope John XXIII Oct. 11. Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, offers the following list to help Catholics better appreciate the council and its lasting effects.



The reason for the council was proactive, not reactive. Pope John framed its purpose in the positive terms of hope and opportunity, rather than the negative terms of danger and threat. This basic posture gave Vatican II the freedom to consider a wide array of concerns. One of the first things Pope John did was send an open-ended letter to all of the world’s bishops, asking for suggestions for the agenda. As the council unfolded, the language of collaboration, cooperation and dialogue took center stage. In the end, the breadth of topics treated and the positive tone of its final documents set Vatican II apart from all previous ecumenical councils. When Vatican II began in October of 1962, the Roman Catholic Church stood as a bulwark against the world. At the grassroots level, the Catholic experience was marked by a rich devotional life, regular sacramental practice and consistent catechesis. Vocations climbed, religious life flourished. The postwar boom, particularly in the United States, brought a period of construction and institutional expansion as schools,

Vatican II presented a renewed vision of what it means to be the church. The council document “Lumen Gentium” on the nature of the church called the church a light for the world and the source of salvation. The document “Gaudium et Spes” on the church in the modern world said the church shares the joys and sufferings of the world. Both documents refer to the church as the “people of God,” reflecting a new appreciation of lay people that surfaced repeatedly at the council. It called the Eucharist the source and summit of the faith. The council’s document on the liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium,” describes holy Communion as the main source of God’s grace for Catholics. In the Eucharist, Catholics encounter the person of Christ. In this way, it is truly the foundation of the church. It reformed the liturgy. The changes to the Mass, perhaps the most well-known conciliar reform, promoted “full and active participation,” which led to the Mass being translated into the vernacular, or local language, and celebrated as a dialogue between the celebrant and the congregation. It said every Catholic is called to holiness and to be a missionary. The document on missionary activity, “Ad Gentes,” expanded the view of how the church evangelizes. Missionaries were no longer sent just to remote areas of the world to spread the Good News; now all Catholics play a role in evangelizing through their lives. It emphasized the importance of the family. According to “Lumen Gentium,” the family is the “Domestic Church.” While the faith of the church flourishes in parishes, dioceses and nations around the world, before all else is the family. It is the family that provides a strong foundation for each believer. It reshaped the church’s relationship with other Christians and other religions. At Vatican II, the church adopted a spirit of respect and dialogue toward other faith traditions. Ensuing dialogues have built bridges of understanding and strengthened relationships with




CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano

Pope John XXIII leads the opening session of the Second Vatican Council in St. Peter’s Basilica Oct. 11, 1962. The 50th anniversary of the opening of the council will be marked by Pope Benedict XVI when he kicks off the Year of Faith with an Oct. 11 Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

Vatican II engaged world in proactive way By Edward P. Hahnenberg Catholic News Service

On Jan. 25, 1959, before a small group of cardinals gathered in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the newly elected Pope John XXIII announced his intention to call a council. It would become the Second Vatican Council. The announcement caught everyone by surprise. First of all, an ecumenical (or “worldwide”) council such as Vatican II is a rare event in the life of the church. Catholics count only 21 such councils in the church’s 2,000-year history. Since the Protestant Reformation 400 years ago, there have been only two such councils. An announcement like Pope John’s does not come along every day. Another cause for surprise had to do with the reason for a new council. Previous councils were all called to respond to some threat facing the church. The Council of Nicaea, for example, was convoked in 325 to address the Arian heresy (the false belief that Jesus was not truly divine, but created) that was tearing the church apart. Similarly, the Council of Trent (1545-1563) was an attempt to answer the challenge of the Reformation. When Pope John made his announcement, no such threat loomed on the horizon. No obvious enemy mobilized Vatican II. Instead, Pope John said the idea for the

What exactly is an ecumenical council? By Joseph Kelly Catholic News Service

As the church gets ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, it seems as if the workings of such a gathering are second nature. But that’s not so, especially for those born post-Vatican II and even for those who experienced the changes at the time. Many of the faithful are left to wonder: What exactly is a council, how do they come together and what do they do? An ecumenical (meaning, universal) council is a meeting of the world’s Catholic bishops with the pope to discuss serious matters pertaining to the church. Only the pope can call a council, and he must approve the final PLEASE TURN TO ECUMENICAL ON PAGE 14A council came to him as a divine inspiration, “like a flash of heavenly light.” In his announcement, he chose not to identify problems. Rather, he named two positive goals. The first was to promote “the enlightenment, edification

and joy” of the entire church. The second was to reach out to other Christians in a spirit of reconciliation.

Positive approach






Council preparations were front page news for local Catholics By Bob Zyskowski The Catholic Spirit

“Pope John XXIII Announces First Ecumenical Council Since 1870, Expected in One Year” — Headline, The Catholic Bulletin, Jan. 30, 1959 Just three months into his papacy in 1959, Pope John XXIII used the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul — Jan. 25 — to announce his goal to do something the church hadn’t done for 90 years: hold an ecumenical council of all the world’s Catholic bishops. The two-line banner headline across the top of Page 1 of the Catholic Bulletin that week led readers to some 120 inches of copy reporting on the news, including the pope’s own words. “Some people dare to speak ill of the church, claiming it is behind the times,” the pope was quoted as saying that day. “But the church is alive and is not the custodian of a museum. Though the church has great respect for what is ancient, beautiful and good, her first concern is souls.” For Catholics at the time, it was a hint that things in their church were about to change — and the beginning of practices that Catholics today recognize as part of the life of the church: ■ Mass typically not in Latin but in their own language. ■ The priest facing the people as he presides at the altar during Mass, not with his back to the people. ■ Active participation in the Mass by the people in the pews — praying the Mass with the priest rather than watching while the priest prays the Mass for them. ■ Prayers of the Faithful, an element restored to the liturgy. ■ Roles for lay people in church operations and advisory bodies as well as in liturgy as lectors and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. ■ The three-year Lectionary cycle, which provides opportunity for the faithful to hear a greater percentage of Scripture than the former one-year cycle Lectionary did. ■ National conferences of bishops. But those are more the “outward signs,” if you will, of what happened at the Second Vatican Council. The renewal or revitalization of Catholicism brought about by Vatican II opened dialogue with those of other faith traditions; the council taught Catholics to see the world not as a threat to Christian life but as an opportunity to announce the Gospel, and that spreading the Gospel was the work of all the baptized, not just priests and religious. The church was defined as the “people of God.”

so that Easter w fixed date. (Ed approved, and to be a moveab As the counc more proposal council agenda discussion on t state relations, ecumenism, C church’s autho and the church Gospel to all p

More and more in the news After that 1959 announcement, the coming council was news in the Catholic Bulletin every so often, usually spurred by the pope himself, who spoke often about issues he expected the Council Fathers to discuss. It wasn’t until three years later, though, that word came from the Vatican that the council would begin in October of that year. That story, too, was Page 1 news in the Catholic Bulletin, on Jan. 5, 1962. As spring and summer unfolded 50 years ago, coverage of the preparations for the council took up more and more of the news hole and commentary columns in the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the predecessor of The Catholic Spirit — and that’s when the buzz about Vatican II began in earnest. “Good Pope John” had appointed a dozen commissions and three secretariats to lay the groundwork for the council, and a National Catholic News Service report said the Holy Father personally attended their meetings “to spur their work.” A central planning committee of cardinals, patriarchs and bishops had been preparing documents for the bishops to read prior to the council, and when the Catholic Bulletin and other publications carried news of what was in those proposals, expectations rose, as did the commenting about each proposal. The comments came not only from


File photo

Archbishop Leo Binz, right, of St. Paul and Minneapolis is pictured with Pope John XXIII in this undated file photo.

Catholics. Leaders of other faith traditions were also interested in what the council would have to say about them and their relationship to the Catholic Church.

The council commissions discussed possibilities such as Mass in the vernacular, of restoring the diaconate, about the optimal size for dioceses, about reforming the church calendar

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er of the preparatory Archbishop Karl J. Alter was quoted about the number of occasions in tholic Bulletin published s Service, the forerunner holic News Service. 2, Archbishop Alter told e purpose of the council rate Christian life in emendous change that e in the world, ith the communist a frontal attack on the t of Judeo-Christian vilization.” months later, in July, a tin headline read nda Set after 3 Years a sidebar article ter explained what ht expect from the form of teachings of the egard to faith and morals al sacramental life or the pline of the church, but s to the application of tal teaching of the ake it more closely ent-day needs.” 13 issue, to prepare council, the Catholic n a series of articles — e 1 — that were reprints bout the coming council chbishop Lorenz Jaeger.



The 120-part series ran through the middle of September. In August 1962 Bishop Leonard Cowley, a St. Paul-Minneapolis auxiliary, told the local board of directors of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women that it was Pope John’s intention to restore authority to local bishops, as opposed to it being concentrated in Vatican congregations. “Each diocese will have its own flavor,” Bishop Cowley said at the time, “but there will be no conflict with the universal church. There will be different cultures, but each bishop will discipline local rituals.”

Flurry of council news Once the council actually opened on Oct. 11, stories, photos, editorials and opinion columns about what the Council Fathers were doing inside St. Peter’s Basilica dominated the news. During that first session of the council — there would be four, continuing into 1965 — each week Archbishop Leo Binz wrote letters to the people of the archdiocese that were carried as Page 1 columns in the Catholic Bulletin. In them he offered an insider’s look at the council proceedings, describing the colorful scenes, where he sat and near whom, what he saw in and about Rome and Italy, but not the discussions themselves. He considered the secrecy of the discussions important for the unity of the church after the council. As the council progressed through the fall of 1962, the Council Fathers discussed the need for peace and justice around the globe, the role of the laity, church-state relations, using modern means of communication, communion under both species, Christian unity, the source of revelation and, of course, they debated renewal of the liturgy. The Catholic Bulletin carried a NCNS story on Nov. 23 that noted that discussion of the “liturgical project” occupied 15 general sessions. It reported that the Council Fathers had submitted 625 proposals or amendments concerning the liturgy, and that more than half of those had been read orally in the council hall. In another story in November, the work of the council was described as similar to that of parliaments the world over, with caucuses and calls for votes. After 36 general sessions over the course of two months, the first session of the Second Vatican Council ended on Dec. 8, 1962. Pope John, in his closing remarks made several points: ■ That the volume of work accomplished was a good beginning. ■ That the bishops of the world should continue their studies in the months ahead.

Documents approved during the council Catholic News Service Here are the 16 documents approved by the Second Vatican Council, which ran from Oct. 11, 1962, to Dec. 8, 1965, and their dates of promulgation: ■ Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (“Sacrosanctum Concilium”), Dec. 4, 1963. It ordered a revision of worship so that people would have a clearer sense of their own involvement in the Mass and other rites. ■ Decree on the Instruments of Social Communication (“Inter Mirifica”), Dec. 4, 1963. It called on members of the church, especially the laity, to instill “a human and Christian spirit” into newspapers, magazines, books, films, radio and television. ■ Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (“Lumen Gentium”), Nov. 21, 1964. It presented the church as a mystery, as a communion of baptized believers, as the people of God, as the body of Christ and as a pilgrim moving toward fulfillment in heaven but marked on earth with “a sanctity that is real, although imperfect.” ■ Decree on Ecumenism (“Unitatis Redintegratio”), Nov. 21, 1964. It said that ecumenism should be everyone’s concern and that genuine ecumenism involves a continual personal and institutional renewal. ■ Decree on Eastern Catholic Churches (“Orientalium Ecclesiarum”), Nov. 21, 1964. It stated that variety within the church does not harm its unity and that Eastern Catholic churches should retain their own traditions. ■ Decree on the Bishops’ Pastoral Office in the Church (“Christus Dominus”), Oct. 28, 1965. It said each bishop has full ordinary power in his own diocese and is expected to present Christian doctrine in ways adapted to the times. It urged conferences of bishops to exercise pastoral direction jointly.

■ That the work of the council would continue in between sessions “thanks to modern rapid communications.”

■ Decree on Priestly Formation (“Optatam Totius”), Oct. 28, 1965. It recommended that seminaries pay attention to the spiritual, intellectual and disciplinary formation necessary to prepare priesthood students to become good pastors.

■ And that the expected results will be a benefit not only to Catholics but to “our brethren who cherish the name Christian.”

■ Decree on the Appropriate Renewal of the Religious Life (“Perfectae Caritatis”), Oct. 28, 1965. It provided guidelines for the personal and institutional renewal of the lives of nuns, brothers and

priests belonging to religious orders. ■ Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (“Nostra Aetate”), Oct. 28, 1965. It said the Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in non-Christian religions, called for an end to anti-Semitism and said any discrimination based on race, color, religion or condition of life is foreign to the mind of Christ. ■ Declaration on Christian Education (“Gravissimum Educationis”), Oct. 28, 1965. It affirmed the right of parents to choose the type of education they want for their children, upheld the importance of Catholic schools and defended freedom of inquiry in Catholic colleges and universities. ■ Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (“Dei Verbum”), Nov. 18, 1965. It said the church depends on Scripture and tradition as the one deposit of God’s word and commended the use of modern scientific scholarship in studying Scripture. ■ Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (“Apostolicam Actuositatem”), Nov. 18, 1965. It said the laity should influence their surroundings with Christ’s teachings. ■ Declaration on Religious Freedom (“Dignitatis Humanae”), Dec. 7, 1965. It said that religious liberty is a right found in the dignity of each person and that no one should be forced to act in a way contrary to his or her own beliefs. ■ Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (“Presbyterorum Ordinis”), Dec. 7, 1965. It said the primary duty of priests is to proclaim the Gospel to all, approved and encouraged celibacy as a gift and recommended fair salaries. ■ Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity (“Ad Gentes”), Dec. 7, 1965. It said missionary activity should help the social and economic welfare of people and not force anyone to accept the faith. ■ Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (“Gaudium et Spes”), Dec. 7, 1965. It forms the core of the church’s teaching on the role of the Christian in modern society. Covering a broad range of political, social, economic, and theological topics, the council fathers devoted an entire section to marriage and the family. This article contains information from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.



Ecumenical councils have long history in the church CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11A

From the 12th century onward, only popes have called ecumenical councils — 13 so far — and so the church officially recognizes 21 of them.

form of any documents the council produces. He also has the right to amend the documents. When the documents have final form, they are published for all Catholics to read, ponder and act on. They are also used by theologians who will develop the documents’ doctrinal elements. Since Vatican II addressed not just the Roman Catholic Church but also all churches of the world as well as non-Christian religions, its documents have had a wide ecumenical influence. Although popes call councils, they rarely preside at the sessions in which the assembled bishops discuss the matters at hand. Normally, a pope delegates presidents of the council — “president” here used in its literal meaning as “one who presides.” The presidents are always bishops and are often chosen from those familiar with the workings of the Vatican, but the popes also like to place diocesan prelates in that role. Most bishops have heavy administrative duties. Therefore the Vatican arranges for theological “periti,” Latin for “experts,” to assist the bishops. Often working behind the scenes, “periti” are rarely well-known, although one Vatican II “peritus,” Father Joseph Ratzinger, is certainly well-known now. Councils also have committees of bishops, some appointed by the pope, others chosen by the council fathers, who, as members of the magisterium, have input on the documents and shape their final form.

Variety over time Looking at all these, can we speak of a “typical” council? Not really. Some were very small. For example, in contrast to Vatican II’s 2,000-plus participants, most medieval councils had between 100 and 300 bishops, while the opening session of the Council of Trent in 1545 saw only 31 bishops in attendance. Nor is there a typical time frame. The first papal council, Lateran I in 1123, met for less than two weeks. By contrast, the Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence met for 14 years, from 1431 to 1445, while Trent met off and on for 18 years from 1545 to 1563. All met in Rome, right? Nope. Three were in France: Lyons I (1245) and II (1274) and Vienne (1311-12); two in Switzerland: Constance (1414-18) and Basel; and one in the Italian city of Trent. Simply put, the councils have always manifested considerable variety. One important constant has been the growing geographical range of the dioceses represented. Medieval councils consisted almost completely of Western Europeans. In the 16th century, missionary bishops from the Americas attended Lateran V (15121517) and the Council of Trent. By Vatican I (1869-1870) the Americas were represented by their own bishops rather than European missionaries, while Vatican II welcomed native bishops from all parts of the Catholic world.

Long history Ecumenical councils continue a grand tradition. The Acts of the Apostles recounts how, about the year 50, the surviving apostles along with St. Paul met to decide whether Christianity should go to gentiles as well as Jews. By the second century, only bishops took part in councils of prelates from particular provinces. But these regional councils discussed only regional issues. In the fourth century all church leaders vigorously debated the nature of the Trinity. How could Christians be monotheists and still believe in a divine Father, Son and Holy Spirit? In 325, the Byzantine emperor Constantine called a council of the bishops to meet in a town named Nicaea. Since emperors were considered to be sacred figures appointed by God, Constantine had the right to call such a council, but the popes always reserved the right to evaluate conciliar teachings and to amend or even reject some. The Council of Nicaea succeeded, creating the word

Looking ahead CNS photo / Paul Haring

A sculpture of the head of Roman Emperor Constantine is seen in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

“consubstantial” — now familiar to all Catholics — to describe the relation of the persons in the Trinity. It was a great step forward, which only an ecumenical council could have achieved. Despite the success of Nicaea, councils were rare. Only eight were held before the 12th century, and all were summoned by Greek-speaking Byzantine monarchs. These councils used Greek for discussions and for the documents. The popes sent emissaries to the councils to make sure that Rome’s church influenced the discussions.

Vatican II faced modern challenges CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11A hospitals, seminaries and parishes grew. If this grassroots vitality fed the faith of thousands, it also kept Catholics somewhat on the margins, separated from the broader society within which they lived. And, some in the church took a defensive and reactionary stance toward all things “modern.” But Pope John believed that God was moving humanity to a new order of human relations. The church needed aggiornamento — or “updating” — not because the church felt threatened but because of its great desire to share Christ with others.

Facing modern challenges John XXIII was no naive optimist. As a papal diplomat in Bulgaria, Turkey and postwar France, he had seen the horrors of war and the tremors shaking Europe to its core. He became pope in the shadow of the Holocaust, amidst the dismantling of colonialism, the rise of the Cold War

and on the cusp of a technological transformation unlike anything the world had seen since the Industrial Revolution. What is remarkable is that Pope John — and by extension the Second Vatican Council — did not retreat from the challenges of the times. His experience taught him that the church cannot escape the world or simply pronounce judgment on it. Instead, the church must engage the world in a positive way, he said. He encouraged the council to use “the medicine of mercy rather than of severity.” We must demonstrate the truth of our teaching and not simply condemn those who disagree, he thought. In the end, the church should “show herself to be the loving mother of all, benign, patient, full of mercy and goodness” toward all, he said. Hahnenberg is Breen Chair of Catholic Systematic Theology at John Carroll University in Cleveland.

What about Vatican III? If a pope decides to call a council, it will, like all the others, reflect the church of its era. For example, more and more of the bishops will surely come from Africa, Asia and Latin America, while the U.S. delegation likely would include many Hispanic bishops. Some have suggested that the church does not need councils any more since modern technology allows the popes and bishops to communicate easily without the burdens of a gathering in Rome. That may be so, but ecumenical councils have served the church well since 325. Surely they can serve the church again. Kelly is professor of church history at John Carroll University in Cleveland.

Council shapes today’s church CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11A Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, Protestants and others.


It promoted collaboration. The document “Christus Dominus” encouraged “collegiality,” or collaboration within the church. Bishops, priests, religious and lay people all work together in a way they didn’t in the past. Bishops collaborate through episcopal conferences like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and state-level Catholic conferences. The council also encouraged “subsidiarity,” by which authority is divided up and decisions are made at the appropriate level.


It updated the church. . . . John XXIII saw Vatican II as a chance for renewal in the face of the “signs of the times” and said he called the council to open a window and let in fresh air. This resulted in reforms that made the church more accessible to the modern world, such as Mass in the vernacular and dialogue with other believers, and the openness of the

council was reflected in the presence of men and women religious, lay people and even non-Catholics among its official observers.


. . . but it also returned the church to its roots.

Vatican II also reformed the church through a back-to-basics approach. This meant renewed appreciation for Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and the restoration of ancient traditions such as the permanent diaconate and the multi-step process for adults joining the church.


Then-Father Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) played a significant behind-thescenes role. The bishops at Vatican II were assisted by brilliant theologians. These assistants, or “periti,” included Joseph Ratzinger, who assisted Cardinal Josef Frings of Cologne, Germany. Father Ratzinger was involved in drafting speeches, shaping documents and defining the overall trajectory of the council.

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” Isaac Newton

This Catholic Life OCTOBER 11, 2012

Opinion, feedback and points to ponder



Why science will never disprove God’s existence


iven the ruminations of Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, one might have thought that the absolute limit of scientistic arrogance had been reached. But think again. Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, was quoted in a recent news article asserting that “science” is on the verge of providing a complete understanding of the universe — an explication, it goes without saying, that precludes the antiquated notion Father of God altogether. Robert Barron Before addressing the God issue specifically, let me make a simple observation. Though the sciences might be able to explain the chemical make-up of pages and ink, they will never be able to reveal the meaning of a book; and though they might make sense of the biology of the human body, they will never tell us why a human act is moral or immoral; and though they might disclose the cellular structure of oil and canvas, they will never determine why a painting is beautiful. This is not because “science” is for the moment insufficiently developed, it is because the scientific method cannot, even in principle, explore such matters, which belong to a qualitatively different category of being than the proper subject matter of the sciences. The claim that “science” could ever provide a total understanding of reality as a whole overlooks the rather glaring fact that meaning, truth, beauty, morality, purpose, etc., are all ingredients in “the universe.” But as is usually the case with scientistic speculation, Carroll’s thought is designed, above all, to eliminate God as a subject of serious intellectual discourse. The first and most fundamental problem is that, like Hawking, Dawkins and Dennett, Carroll doesn’t seem to know what biblical people mean by “God.” With the advance of the modern physical sciences, he asserts, there remains less and less room for God to operate, and hence less and less need to appeal to him as an explanatory cause. This is a contemporary reiteration of Pierre-Simon Laplace’s rejoinder when the Emperor Napoleon asked the famous astronomer how God fit into his mechanistic system: “I have no need of that hypothesis.” But God, as the classical Catholic intellectual tradition understands him, is not one cause, however great, among many; not one more item within the universe jockeying for position with other competing causes. Rather, God is, as St. Thomas Aquinas characterized him, “ipsum esse,”


or the sheer act of to-be itself — that power in and through which the universe in its totality exists. Once we grasp this, we see that no advance of the physical sciences could ever “eliminate” God or show that he is no longer required as an explaining cause, for the sciences can only explore objects and events within the finite cosmos.

An argument for God To demonstrate the relationship between God and the universe more clearly, it would be worthwhile to explore the most fundamental argument for God’s existence, namely the argument from contingency. You and I are contingent (dependent) in our being in the measure that we eat and drink, breathe and had parents; a tree is contingent inasmuch as its being is derived from seed, sun, soil, water, etc.; the solar system is contingent because it depends upon gravity and events in the wider galaxy. To account for a contingent reality, by definition we have to appeal to an extrinsic cause. But if that cause is itself contingent, we have to proceed further. This process of appealing to contingent causes in order to explain a contingent effect cannot go on indefinitely, for then the effect is never adequately explained. Hence, we must finally come to some reality that is not contingent on anything else, some ground of being whose very nature is to-be. This is precisely what Catholic theology means by “God.” Therefore, God is not one fussy cause

“Though the sciences might be able to explain the chemical make-up of pages and ink, they will never be able to reveal the meaning of a book.


within or alongside the universe; instead, he is the reason why there is a universe at all, why there is, as the famous formula has it, “something rather than nothing.” To ask the sophomoric question, “Well, what caused God?” is simply to show that the poser of the question has not grasped the nettle of the argument.

Acknowledging a problem Now Carroll seems to acknowledge the power of this sort of argument of first instance, but he makes the common scientistic mistake of identifying the first cause with matter or energy or even the universe itself in its endlessly fluctuating rhythms of inflation and deflation.

But the problem with such explanations is this: they involve an appeal to patently contingent things or states of affairs. Energy or matter, for example, always exist in a particular modality or instantiation, which implies that they could just as well be in another modality or instantiation: here rather than there, up rather than down, this color rather than that, this speed rather than that, etc. But this in turn means that their being in one state rather than another requires an explanation or an appeal to an extrinsic cause. And the proposal of the fluctuating universe itself is just as much of a nonstarter, for it involves the same problem simply writ large: How do you explain why the universe is expanding rather than contracting, at this rate rather than that, in this configuration rather than another, etc.? Finally, a cause of the very to-be of a contingent universe must be sought, and this cannot be anything in the universe, nor can it be the universe considered as a totality. It must be a reality whose very essence is to-be and hence whose perfection of existence is unlimited. As I have tried to demonstrate in very short compass, philosophy can shed light on the existence of God so construed. The one thing the sciences cannot ever do is disprove it. Father Robert 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

Don’t overlook the big picture when voting this year


Editorial Joe Towalski

Pressing for policy particulars is important, but it’s also good to know how a candidate’s world view stacks up against our own

he first presidential debate, focused on domestic policy, is in the books. But if you, like many other Americans, are just starting to tune in seriously to the 2012 campaign and trying to make up your mind about who to support on Nov. 6, you have two more chances later this month to hear the candidates: a debate with a town hall format Oct. 16 and a final contest Oct. 22 focused on foreign policy. One of the challenges for debate moderators is to press candidates beyond generalizations and pin them down on specifics: Exactly what do they propose, and what legislative measures would they rally around, to support their broad policy objectives. Voters, too, are eager to hear particulars. But, while specifics are good, Americans also should strive to understand the bigger-picture philosophies and world views beyond party platforms that presidential nominees — as well as other federal and state candidates — would bring to office. These often reveal more about how a future president or lawmaker would approach a particular issue or set of problems than any two-minute debate answer or campaign commercial ever could. For us Catholics, the protection of human life, promotion of human dignity and advancement of the common good beyond our own individual wants and desires are core principles rooted in the church’s vision of a just society. What would it look like if candi-

world view understand that our social responsibilities extend beyond our communities, cities and national border. In an era of globalization, they seek to build bridges between nations instead of burning them, and they understand that we must be good stewards of the natural world for the benefit of future generations. ■ And, not least in importance, such candidates would understand that religion makes positive contributions to society and should have a voice in the public square. They would support religious liberty so churches and others may continue the faith-based works of charity, health care and education that have been an integral part of our nation’s history without having to violate their consciences. dates espoused similar principles when confronting the challenges of the modern world? Here are a few examples: ■ They would speak often about the need to give particular attention and care to society’s poorest and most vulnerable members. These candidates would push for policies that support women facing unexpected pregnancies and help them create stable, healthy families after the birth of their babies. They would fight for programs and services that meet the poor’s basic needs while giving them the resources to become self-sufficient. They would ensure that the elderly and ill have access to essential and life-affirming health care.

■ These candidates would give special attention to the needs of children by supporting policies that protect marriage and strengthen families. ■ They would believe in everyone’s need for forgiveness and mercy, even when it comes to hot-button issues — giving undocumented immigrants a second chance to start a new life without the threat of deportation tearing their families apart, working to abolish the death penalty while still holding prisoners accountable for the crimes they’ve committed, and giving addicts and others who have made bad decisions the help they need to turn their lives around and become productive members of society. ■ Candidates who share a Catholic

It’s vital for Catholics to have the tools necessary to view this year’s election through the lens of their Catholic faith. That’s why each issue of The Catholic Spirit features a “Faith in the Public Arena” column from the Minnesota Catholic Conference (see below) and why every issue from last June leading up to Election Day, Nov. 6, features a “Catholic Care – Catholic Vote” column from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (see page 18A). While we should press the presidential nominees and other candidates for office on the details of their policy plans, we shouldn’t overlook the need to see how their big-picture views of the world stack up against our own as Catholic citizens.

Understanding the church’s teaching on immigration


any Catholics have trouble on occasion aligning themselves with the church when it takes a position on matters of public policy. What is often under-reported, though, is that there are truly large percentages of Catholics who disagree with the bishops on the question of immigration. This is troubling not only because the bishops’ position is both principled and humane, but because it also effectively balances a number of concerns, such as border security and the importance of keeping families together. Gaining an understanding of the prinJessica Zittlow ciples of a just immigration policy is one responsibility Catholics have as they prepare to vote in November. While election time often becomes a bit wearisome, it does provide us with a valuable opportunity to pray, “Help me to understand this, Lord. Help me to grasp why your church teaches this,” and it allows us to take the steps as responsible citizens to educate ourselves on issues of Catholic social teaching to make moral, reasoned judgments. As an aid in this task, Minnesota Catholics are able to look to the Minnesota Catholic Conference’s 2012 statement on immigration reform, “Unlocking

Faith in the Public Arena

the Gate in our Hearts,” to find “principles for reflection, the criteria for judgment and the directives for action” on the issue of immigration.

A just immigration policy Immigration policy is part of a consistent ethic of human dignity. The Catholic Church advocates for just immigration policies because we care about families and their well-being, and because we believe each person is created in the image and likeness of God. It is the same ethic that compels us to speak for the right to life, health care reform and fair access to housing. We welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect. The right to immigrate stems from a person’s right to security and a means to a livelihood, if it cannot be realized in his or her country of origin. In turn, the welcoming country has a duty to secure its border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good. Following are key principles from which immigration policy proposals should be assessed, taken from the MCC 2012 immigration statement: ■ Persons have the right to seek economic opportunities in their homeland; conditions ought to be such that persons can work and support their families in dignity and safety; ■ Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families when they are unable to find work and therefore are unable to support their families at home;

■ Sovereign nations have a right to protect and control their borders for the common good; ■ Refugees and asylum seekers should be afforded protection; and ■ The human rights and human dignity of all persons, including undocumented immigrants, should be respected. In addition, any just immigration policy should also: ■ Uphold the human dignity of all persons and work against any injustice that compromises the dignity of immigrants; ■ Promote and give priority to the reunification of families; and ■ Recognize the rich contribution to the community by those immigrants and migrants who work and live here.

Consistent with U.S. ideals In fact, these Catholic moral principles are consistent with America’s founding ideals and aspirations to be one nation under God, as a country made up of many races and creeds. The statement goes on to say: “Based on these principles the American bishops support comprehensive immigration policy reform that secures our national borders and provides undocumented immigrants the opportunity to earn permanent residency and eventual citizenship.” Such reform should include: ■ An earned legalization program for foreign nationals of good moral character; ■ Policies designed to keep families to-

gether; ■ A revamped temporary worker program that protects both the workers who come to the United States and U.S.-citizen workers; ■ The restoration of immigrants’ due process rights; and ■ An effort to meaningfully address the root cause of migration, such as underdevelopment and poverty in countries of immigrant origin. Moreover, such reform would include the targeted, proportionate, and humane enforcement of immigration laws. The “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church” reminds us: “The immediate purpose of the Church’s social doctrine is to propose the principles and values that can sustain a society worthy of the human person” (no. 580). Every person — a daughter, son, mother or father — possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone, in every circumstance. Lest we forget, this includes immigrants. An electronic copy of the “Unlocking the Gate of our Hearts” statement can be found at MNCC.ORG, under the “Migration” Advocacy Area. For more reading on this and other issues of Catholic social teaching, visit WWW.VATI CAN.VA for a comprehensive, online version of “The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.” Jessica Zittlow is communications associate with the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

This Catholic Life / Commentary



Emergency or blessing? The power of silence


Twenty Something Christina Capecchi

One of the perils of modern life is the way we’ve built noise into everything we do

y dad and brother just returned from a fly-in fishing adventure in the Canadian wilderness — fly-in, that is, because their outpost camp could only be accessed by floatplane, the sole cabin on a remote lake teeming with walleye. It was a week of primitive living — no electricity, no indoor toilets, no cell phone coverage, no television, and solar panels that could power six bulbs. They expected to find a short-range radio to use in case of emergency but learned, in its absence, an alert method closer to a smoke signal: Set a big wooden block in the shape of an E on the end of the dock. One side is green for minor emergencies; flip to the other side, which is orange, for serious issues. Then wait for a pilot to take note. Sometimes he’d fly by daily, but it could be a couple of days before he’d make the rounds and swoop to your aid.

Too quiet? Vacationers have pulled out the Big E for a number of reasons, revealing varying definitions of emergency. One man had a heart attack. One lost a finger in a hunting accident. One ran out of hot sauce. But the most fascinating reason to set out the Big E and end a trip early? The outpost camp was too quiet; they couldn’t stand the silence. No highways, no neighbors and, being so far north, little wildlife, not even a chorus of birds. One family from Chicago was spooked by the lack of noise. They couldn’t sleep without the hum of a nearby train. Another group, two buddies who’d gone to grade school through college together, found the hush an impossible chasm to bridge. “We have nothing in common!” they told the pilot, confessing their plan to play the radio the entire drive home.

“The guys found time for

ample father-son discussion. . . . But they also absorbed the silence, letting it wash over them and rewire their city circuits.


Somehow they’d never before subjected their long friendship to silence. My brother, meanwhile, relished the quiet, wanted to bottle it up. “I’m not sure you can hear that,” Tony said while recording a video and panning over a lakeside sunset, “but that’s absolute silence.” He committed the scenes to heart and lens and later hashed them out on a keyboard. “That far north, fall days make you feel you can touch the sky,” Tony wrote. The guys found time for ample father-son discussion: reminiscing about the past, anticipating the future and delighting in their present fortune. But they also absorbed the silence, letting it wash over them and

rewire their city circuits.

Hearing God’s voice One of the perils of modern life is the way we’ve built noise into every process, and 20-somethings run the risk of forgetting how things used to be, back when we jogged without an iPod and drove without a talking GPS. Last week I overhead an 86-yearold Sister of St. Joseph tell a 21-yearold communications major about the silent retreats she’d made. The college student was positively stumped, fumbling over earnest questions. “What was the purpose of the silence? Did you find it beneficial?” “Oh, yeah,” the sister said, sharing

wisdom that seemed wrapped in both her age and her religious vocation. “We don’t have enough silence in our lives now. There’s a lot to being quiet.” A lot to it and a lot standing in its way. Silence isn’t just the absence of noise, it’s the absence of idle activity. It’s being unoccupied, empty, attuned to the “still, small voice” of God that Elijah sought in the wind, the earthquake and the fire and heard, finally, in the silence that followed. Christina Capecchi is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights. She can be reached at WWW.READ CHRISTINA.COM.

Look for leadership when casting your vote


Faith and the Workplace Tom Bengtson

Sometimes leadership means taking the road less traveled

atholics have an important opportunity to exercise the citizenship component of their faith next month. In addition to voting on two state constitutional amendments, we will be selecting municipal, state and federal political leaders to guide us through the next few years. Let’s take a moment to consider what leadership is.

A broader vision A leader is someone who takes charge; a leader is someone who brings ideas to the table, articulates them in a compelling fashion and makes things happen. I know a lot of people who are good at bringing all sides together, facilitating discussion and seeking consensus, but this is not necessarily leadership, in my opinion. While consensus is nice, it often leads to more of the same. Real leaders aren’t afraid to go in directions few have considered. Sometimes leadership means taking the road less traveled.

“Being a good leader is more about being respected than about being liked.” TOM BENGTSON

Real leaders also see beyond the obvious. This election is all about jobs and, of course, we all want economic opportunity in addition to our collective perennial desires for a balanced budget, good schools, safe neighborhoods and fair taxation.

side of an issue without putting them down. They understand that most people want the same things — peace and security, economic opportunity, health care, education — but that people of good will may differ on how to achieve these things.

But can’t we do more? A real leader, as I see it, should be able to address our immediate needs and then offer something to the rest of the world — like innovations in energy production or medical care, or breakthroughs in technology, or worldclass educational reform.

I like a leader who acknowledges a breadth of approaches on a particular challenge but acts with conviction on what he or she believes to be best, keeping the constituency informed along the way. There will be people who won’t like leaders who don’t choose their ideas, but being a good leader is more about being respected than about being liked.

And, real leaders respect those who hold different opinions. They acknowledge the people on the other

Finally, good leaders make us forget

our fears. What is it that keeps people and their societies from advancing? I believe it is the fear of doing something different. A good leader helps people see the advantages of a particular course of action, even if it is something that has never been tried before.

Taking risks People who don’t want to risk anything are afraid of losing what they have. A good leader alleviates those fears. A good leader affirms people where they are at and shows them the possibilities for a better life. Of course there is risk, but a good leader will make the risk seem like a manageable down payment on a better future. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where any of the candidates for public office hold the qualities of true leadership, go out and vote for them on Nov. 6. Contact Tom Bengtson at TOMBENGTSON.COM.





/ This Catholic Life

Church takes reasonable approach on immigration reform right of people to emigrate to seek a livelihood for themselves and their families — and realize that a creative accommodation can alleviate that tension, whether that means increasing the number of visas given annually to meet demand or removing roadblocks to naturalization for young people who had no choice in coming. It’s reasonable to want to understand and address the underlying causes that drive illegal immigration. When people risk their lives and leave their families to come to a foreign land, the humane and logical response is to find out what forces compelled them to do such a risky, oftentimes desperate, thing. The answer is usually some combination of systemic poverty, economic instability and political or religious persecution — issues the United States can work to alleviate in collaboration with its neighbors.

The following is the ninth 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 It’s popular in some circles today to portray the Catholic Church as the opposite of reasonable. One example: When the church insists that its charities, hospitals and universities be allowed to carry out their mission without being forced by the government to violate Catholic teaching, it’s depicted as attacking women’s health care, despite the church being a strong supporter of health care for all people. Another example: Recent years have seen the rise of more strident, outspoken atheists who, with evangelical fervor and more than a touch of hubris, declare that only their like-minded brethren are freethinkers and that people of any faith are superstitious children at best and hate-filled bigots at worst. Their favorite buzzword: reason. Of course, Pope Benedict XVI and others have long maintained that no conflict or competition exists between faith and reason, that the two in fact work together harmoniously as people engage the world around them. A great example of this is the position the U.S. bishops take on immigration reform, one of six priority issues raised in their reissued document on political responsibility, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” When the bishops speak on immigration, it’s not the shrill rhetoric of partisan

Seizing an opportunity CNS photo / Reuters

Veronica Castro stands with her daughter, Jennifer, in the entrance of their home in Phoenix last May. The mother was planning to return to Mexico with her four children after her husband, an undocumented worker, was deported.

politics or ideology. It’s not even a dense and lofty theological pronouncement. Instead, it’s the calm, educated advice of people who understand an issue, care about it and want to see it resolved for the benefit of everyone involved. It’s the pairing of values rooted in faith with arguments rooted in logic and common sense. It’s humanitarian, and it’s reasonable on numerous levels. For example, when a country is saddled with immigration policies that have resulted in 12 million people living under the radar, it’s reasonable to say, “Everyone recognizes the system is broken; let’s move forward and replace this broken system with something that works so that everyone can benefit.” Hence the bishops’ calls for comprehensive immigration reform. Conversely, the approach of digging in

further with the same enforcement-only approach that has been used for the last two decades is an example of repeating the same practice and expecting different results. It’s also reasonable to recognize that one simply cannot deport 12 million people, with the costs, economic disruptions and logistical difficulties making it beyond impractical. It’s reasonable to question practices like raiding workplaces, separating families and holding people in prolonged detention as a proportionate response to nonviolent offenders whose only offenses were motivated by need and, to be blunt about it, family values. It’s reasonable to recognize that a tension can exist between two important values — in this case, the right of a country to secure and guard its borders and the

This is a humanitarian challenge for the United States, but it’s also an opportunity and even a gift. It’s reasonable to look to the historical context, to the tremendous energy and productivity infused in American culture by every subsequent wave of immigrants (most of which occurred under very different immigration laws, rendering moot the popular “well my ancestors came here legally” argument). And so it’s reasonable not only to know one’s history, but to know oneself, especially as a politically engaged Catholic. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan has noted, “We are a church of immigrants, so we’re particularly sensitive to the rights of immigrants.” This should compel Catholics to approach the challenges of immigration reform not punitively, but as people of compassion, faith and reason. Don Clemmer is assistant director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Why I changed my mind about undocumented immigrants


hen I was a sophomore at Stillwater High School I had a social studies class titled “Contemporary Issues.” As part of the class, we formally debated various controversial topics. I don’t remember much about the class, but I clearly remember taking part in a debate on immigration. A classmate and I argued that those who came across the border without papers broke the law and should therefore be prosecuted. It is hard for me to believe now that I once held that position. In fact, as I write this article, I am praying Father Joseph fervently for the safe passage of a Williams parishioner who is attempting to recross the border from Mexico. Let me explain why my view on this issue has changed over the years by sharing her story. I met this woman — I will call her Maria — when I arrived at St. Stephen’s in South Minneapolis four and a half years ago. She volunteered to teach catechism to our parish’s children. I was immediately struck by her humility and joy. During the next three years, I marveled at Maria’s childlike faith in God and love for all people. In spite of her own personal sufferings, she rarely missed an event at the church or an opportunity to share God’s love with others — whether that was on the city bus, in the park or at the supermarket. During those years, Maria worked a very difficult job while renting a single room. She sent most of her earnings back to her family in Mexico. When her mother became gravely ill a year and a half ago Maria made the difficult


“The truth is that people rarely

want to leave their homeland. They leave because, like Maria, they are facing extreme economic and social hardships.


decision to return home. I did not know that she was attempting to re-cross the border into the United States until her distraught sister came to our church on a recent Friday to tell me that she had lost communication with Maria for three days. I would not have advised Maria to cross the border out of concern for her well-being. Each year, hundreds of immigrants die attempting to enter this country, and I am told that it is becoming more and more dangerous. Nevertheless, I do not fault her or others like her for trying. In serving the Latino population over the years, I have come to learn that Maria’s story is not unique. The truth is that people rarely want to leave their homeland. They leave because, like Maria, they are facing extreme economic and social hardships. Why else would they risk

their lives to come here?

Complex issue I thank God for the privilege of serving such humble and loveable people. I thank God that, through them, He has changed my attitude toward so many people of good will who are here without authorization. Of course, we must not forget that many Latinos are here legally. I pray for that day when those who are not here legally — many of whom came as small children — might enjoy the stability of, at least, permanent residency. I think they are a tremendous revitalizing force, not only for the church but also for society and the economy. It is difficult to translate stories and personal experience into public policy. Even as I hope for comprehensive immigration reform, I appreciate the complexities of the issue of non-authorized immigration. I recognize the right of sovereign nations to regulate their borders. The church affirms this right, even as she reminds wealthy nations of their special obligation to accommodate immigrants. This was echoed by Pope John Paul II at Yankee Stadium in October 1979 when he reminded the American people of our special responsibility: “We cannot stand idly by, enjoying our own riches and freedom if, in any place, the Lazarus of the 20th century stands at our doors. In the light of the parable of Christ, riches and freedom mean a special responsibility. Riches and freedom create a special obligation.” Father Joseph Williams is pastor of St. Stephen in Minneapolis.

“Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21

The Lesson Plan OCTOBER 11, 2012

Reflections on faith and spirituality



What’s holding you back from following Jesus today?


ur human way of thinking is not God’s way of thinking. Take our Gospel reading for Sunday: A young man approaches Jesus and asks him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life.” Contrary to his expectations (probably the man was hoping to obtain from Jesus a new and secret revelation), Jesus’ answer was a reminder of the commandments. Not satisfied with the response, the man responds to Jesus by saying that he has Deacon kept the commandManuel ments since he was Gomez young. Jesus, then, tells him the one thing he lacks: “Go, sell what you have, and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Jesus’ response can seem like something

Sunday Scriptures

added to the first answer, something extra, but it is not. Jesus is calling the man to the fullness of love that the commandments themselves point toward. Jesus is himself the fulfillment of the law showing forth the goal: communion with God and neighbor. In fact, Jesus is asking if the man loves God above everything. The man’s sad response shows us that, even though he lived a basically good life, the way he held his possessions kept him from being able to love God above all things. Love of God involves the commandments — and more. Somebody who loves God above all things cannot kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness or defraud. But more than that, loving God requires us to give up everything that keeps us from following him. “Go, sell what you have . . .” — sell your selfishness, your envy, your sloth, your indifference, your anger, your resentment, your gossip — “then come, follow me.” The danger is that we can become so

Are you ready?

the grace to leave behind what keeps us from loving and following him. For us it is impossible to leave our attachments, but not for God. “All things are possible for God.” What if God is calling you to be a priest or a religious brother or sister? If you are married, God is calling you to be a better father and mother. If you are single, God is calling you to serve your family, friends, and community. Are you ready to leave everything and follow him? What is holding you back? What sins or possessions are you grasping onto that keep you from following Jesus in love? May God give us prudence and freedom in our lives, so we will be able to love him above all things.

If the ability to follow Jesus were based on our own strength, it would be impossible for us to change our lifestyle. It is not only our own strength that allows us to follow Jesus and to leave behind our attachments. It is God who gives us

Deacon Manuel Gerardo Gomez Reza is in formation for the priesthood at The St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Rockford, Ill. His home parish is St. Joseph in Elgin, Ill.

Readings Sunday, Oct. 14 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Wisdom 7:7-11 Hebrews 4:12-13 Mark 10:17-30

Reflection What must I give up in my life to truly answer Christ’s call and love God beyond all things?

attached to our possessions and way of life that they prevent us from following Jesus.

Christ, not priest or faithful, is at center of the liturgy, pope says

Daily Scriptures

Catholic News Service Sunday, Oct. 14 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Wisdom 7:7-11 Hebrews 4:12-13 Mark 10:17-30

Sunday, Oct. 21 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Isaiah 53:10-11 Hebrews 4:14-16 Mark 10:35-45

Monday, Oct. 15 St. Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor of the church Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31 — 5:1 Luke 11:29-32

Monday, Oct. 22 Ephesians 2:1-10 Luke 12:13-21

Tuesday, Oct. 16 St. Hedwig, religious; St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin Galatians 5:1-6 Luke 11:37-41 Wednesday, Oct. 17 St. Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr Galatians 5:18-25 Luke 11:42-46 Thursday, Oct. 18 St. Luke, Evangelist 2 Timothy 4:10-17b Luke 10:1-9 Friday, Oct. 19 Sts. John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, priests Ephesians 1:11-14 Luke 12:1-7 Saturday, Oct. 20 St. Paul of the Cross, priest Ephesians 1:15-23 Luke 12:8-12

Tuesday, Oct. 23 St. John of Capistrano, priest Ephesians 2:12-22 Luke 12:35-38 Wednesday, Oct. 24 St. Anthony Mary Claret, bishop Ephesians 3:2-12 Luke 12:39-48 Thursday, Oct. 25 Ephesians 3:14-21 Luke 12:49-53 Friday, Oct. 26 Ephesians 4:1-6 Luke 12:54-59 Saturday, Oct. 27 Ephesians 4:7-16 Luke 13:1-9 Sunday, Oct. 28 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Jeremiah 31:7-9 Hebrews 5:1-6 Mark 10:46-52

A liturgy is not Christian if Christ is not the center of the celebration, Pope Benedict XVI said. “The conviction must grow in us every day that the liturgy is not ‘our’ or ‘my’ doing, but is God’s acting in us and with us,” he said Oct. 3. The pope spoke to an estimated 20,000 Pope people gathered in St. Benedict XVI Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience. The talk was the latest focusing on the liturgy in the pope’s series on the subject of prayer. In his catechesis, the pope said, “If in the celebration [of Mass] the centrality of Christ does not emerge, we won’t have Christian liturgy, totally dependent on the Lord,” who supports it with his presence. It’s not the action of the individual — whether the priest or one of the faithful — or the group gathered in the pews “that celebrates the liturgy, but it is primarily the action of God through the church, which has its own history, rich tradition and creativity,” he said. “This universality and fundamental openness, which is characteristic of the whole liturgy, is one of the reasons it cannot be created or modified by the individual community or by experts, but must be faithful to the forms of the universal church.” The faithful fully experience the church in the liturgy, which is “the act in which we believe God enters into our reality and we can meet him and can touch him. . . .

From the Vatican

“The conviction must

grow in us every day that the liturgy is not ‘our’ or ‘my’ doing, but is God’s acting in us and with us.


He comes to us and we are enlightened by him,” the pope said. For that reason, when people focus attention only on trying to make the liturgy more “attractive, interesting or beautiful, we risk forgetting the essential: The liturgy is celebrated for God and not for ourselves. It is his work,” he said. God is the subject of the liturgy and all the faithful must open themselves up to him and let themselves be guided by him and his body, the church, he added. “Christians rediscover their true identity in Christ” and that is why prayer always needs to be looking toward Christ, speaking to him and listening to him. After his main talk, the pope greeted students of the Pontifical North American College who were to be ordained deacons Oct. 4 by Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, N.J. The pope told the more than 40 ordinands, “Always be faithful heralds of the Gospel and generous witness to the love of Christ.”




/ This Catholic Life

Jesus, the greatest and the model evangelizer By Father Michael Van Sloun

say and how to say it.

For The Catholic Spirit

Kindly approach

The word “evangelization” comes from the Greek word “euangelion,” meaning good news or glad tidings. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Good News; it is the proclamation of Jesus as Messiah, Lord and Savior; the announcement of the reign of God; and the message of truth, hope, peace, promise, immortality and salvation. Evangelization is to tell the story of Jesus; to introduce or reintroduce people to Jesus; to bring others to belief and help them to deepen their faith; and to proclaim, share and spread the Gospel message.

Jesus shared his Gospel in a warm and personal way. He was informative and down to earth. He told stories that held people’s attention and taught powerful lessons. He used familiar examples that were easy to understand. He gently invited people to listen. He was pleasant and friendly, energetic and positive, not harsh or mean, not high pressured, aggressive or pushy. As his followers, we ought to imitate his style. Jesus not only spoke, he performed many good works: He fed the hungry, embraced children and cured the sick. His good deeds were consistent with his words, expressed his compassion, proved his integrity and gave his Gospel greater force. If we hope to be effective evangelizers, our words must be accompanied by many good deeds.

The greatest evangelizer The Spirit of the Lord rested upon Jesus, and he was appointed to bring glad tidings to all (see Luke 4:18). Jesus came to proclaim the “gospel of God” (Mark 1:14), and he instructed his followers to continue his mission “to make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19,20). Before Jesus ever spoke a word, he prepared himself with prayer. He spent 40 days in solitude in the desert — fasting, reading Scripture, in contemplation and in conversation with his Father. And, once properly grounded, he was able to speak with power and authority. Then throughout his ministry, Jesus went off by himself over and over again to pray and renew his strength. If we hope to be evangelizers, we need to pray before we begin and then pray regularly — especially with Scripture and particularly with the Gospel — to the Holy Spirit, so we will be guided in when to speak, what to

religious education. It expands to where we live and our next-door neighbors, and to where we shop, go to school and work. It may even reach distant locations, other states or countries if we are able to travel. There will be many places that we will never visit, but wherever we go, the message of Jesus should be on the tip of our lips.

Mixed results

Near and far Jesus began his outreach at home, but his scope extended far beyond his immediate area. Jesus first proclaimed his Gospel in Nazareth, his hometown, and Capernaum, his home base for the initial portion of his ministry. But, almost immediately, Jesus extended his reach, first to the region of Galilee, and eventually much farther, to Tyre and Sidon in modern-day Lebanon, to the Decapolis in modern-day Jordan, and to the region of Judea and the city of Jerusalem in central Israel. Jesus may have traveled far, but there were many places he never visited: Europe and Africa, India and China. If we take our cues from Jesus, evangelization begins at home with spouse and

Photo courtesy of Father Michael Van Sloun

children, and then moves to our wider family and friends. It extends to our parishes in prayer groups, Bible study, faith sharing and

Jesus generated crowds, many with people who were eager listeners and became his followers, as well as others who were merely curious, some who rejected him and a few who bitterly opposed him. His magnetism drew crowds at the door to his home, up and down the seashore, along a hillside and in the Temple precincts. Yet, the people of Nazareth drove him out of town and intended to throw him over a cliff; the residents of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum did not repent; and after he explained that he is the Bread of Life, a number of his first followers declared, “This saying is hard” (John 6:60) and “no longer accompanied him” (John 6:66). Jesus enjoyed tremendous success, but he also suffered bitter disappointments. Yet, he never let up. He was persistent, indomitable! Like Jesus, some of our efforts to evangelize will be well received; others will be ignored or resisted. When we encounter trouble, we must persevere. The message is too important! Jesus has the words of everlasting life! (see John 6:68). Father Michael Van Sloun is pastor of St. Stephen in Anoka.

Study of never-married Catholics gives insight into vocations future By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service

In a survey of Catholics age 14 and older, about 12 percent of males and 10 percent of females said they considered a religious vocation at least “a little seriously,” a study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University found. The findings, released Oct. 9, give church leaders a vast array of data on which to base positive messages about religious life for teenagers and young adults, said Father Shawn McKnight, executive director of the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which commissioned the survey. “When you consider 12 percent of all male youth and 10 percent of all women . . . just a very small percentage [committing to a vocation] would make a tremendous difference,” Father McKnight told Catholic News Service. “The survey offers solid evidence, credible evidence to base our judgments on how to promote vocations,” he added. Broken down, 3 percent of male respondents and 2 percent of female respondents indicate they have “very seriously” considered a vocation, according to the study, “Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life Among Never-Married U.S. Catholics.” It was commissioned by the USCCB secretariat.

Projected over the Catholic population of the United States, those figures represent 350,000 never-married men and more than 250,000 never-married women who may have very seriously considered a vocation, concluded CARA researchers Mark Gray and Mary Gautier, who conducted the study. In the United States, there are 39,718 priests, 17,816 deacons, 4,518 brothers and 55,045 sisters, according to the 2012 edition of the Official Catholic Directory.

Invitation is key The study involved 1,428 people, about 65 percent of those invited to participate. It was conducted online. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. The data collected in the survey shows that personal relationships with adults — parents, teachers, clergy, men and women religious, and campus ministers especially — can be a key factor in whether a young person considers a religious vocation. Fewer than 10 percent of the respondents said, however, that anyone ever encouraged them to consider religious life. Among those who did receive encouragement, both males and females were nearly twice as likely to consider entering religious life, according to the study. The study also showed that Hispanics were far less likely to receive encouragement to enter religious life than non-Hispanic white respondents. Respondents of

other races are about equally as likely as non-Hispanic whites to receive encouragement, the study said. Father McKnight such differences must be addressed by church leaders given the growing number of Hispanics in the U.S. church. “Regular and repeated and consistent contact is what’s needed most of all,” he told CNS. Other factors identified in the study as influencing respondents’ consideration of a religious vocation were living in households where parents discussed religion at least once a week; joining prayer and Bible study groups, devotional activities or retreats; participating in parish ministry; and receiving encouragement to consider a vocation from someone other than a family member. Attending a secondary or primary Catholic school also seems to be an important factor among those considering a vocation. For males, those who attended a Catholic secondary school were six times more likely to consider a vocation than those who did not. Among females, attendance at a Catholic primary school led them to be three times more likely than those who did not to consider a vocation. Pre-Vatican II Catholics, whom the survey identified as those born before 1943, were the most likely to have considered a vocation. In that age group, 27 percent of men and 22 percent of women at least considered a vocation “a little seriously.”

Post-Vatican II Catholics (born 1961-1981) were the least likely to consider a vocation, with 7 percent of men and 7 percent of women saying they considered such a step. The number of Catholics who considered religious life showed a small increase among millennial Catholics, classified as those born in 1982 or later. Thirteen percent of men and 8 percent of women responded that they considered a religious vocation, the survey found. In addition, respondents were asked why they would not consider a vocation. For males, the most common response was a general lack of interest (39 percent). Celibacy was cited as the reason for not considering a vocation by 18 percent of men. Other reasons include not feeling called to a vocation (8 percent), having other life goals (8 percent) and doubts about faith (8 percent). For females, responses to the same question were similar, with 31 percent saying they had a general lack of interest and 16 percent citing celibacy as a concern. Other reasons cited include not feeling called to a vocation (11 percent), the lifestyle of a woman religious (10 percent), doubts about faith (7 percent), and not wanting to experience the commitment necessary or the restrictions imposed by religious life (7 percent). Editor’s Note: The full survey can be found online at CARA.GEORGETOWN.EDU.

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” Victor Hugo


Exploring our church and our world

OCTOBER 11, 2012

Singers of all ages drawn to Catholic chorale By Jennifer Janikula For The Catholic Spirit

Gorgeous. Beautiful. Majestic. Powerful. Transcendent. Life-changing. These are the words members of the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale use to describe the experience of the Latin Mass with a fourpart choir, professional orchestra, professional soloists and the classical sacred music of Mozart, Beethoven, Hayden and others. The Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, founded in 1956 by Msgr. Richard J. Schuler, sings at 25 to 30 masses each year at St. Agnes in St. Paul and begins its newest season Oct. 14 More than 60 voices come together with an orchestra as large as 40 players to contribute. The uniqueness of the singing and worship experience keeps veteran members coming back and is drawing new members to the chorale.

Glorifying God Veteran choir member Virginia Schubert, who has been singing soprano in the choir since 1960, enjoys singing classical music that was written for the purpose of the “glorification of God” within the context of the Catholic Mass. “I want to worship God in the most beautiful and fitting way possible with sacred music, which is great art,” Schubert said. The “Messe Solennelle” (St. Cecilia Mass), composed by Charles Gounod, was the inspiration Charles Asch needed to join the choir last year. “I was transported,” said Asch, a music arts doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota. “It was my first time hearing that music in the appropriate place. The reverent tone helped me understand the majesty and gravity of Christianity.” Dr. Robert Peterson, director of the chorale since 2000, said he values the ex-


Holocaust survivor to share experiences through paintings, prose and music The Catholic Spirit

Jennifer Janikula / For The Catholic Spirit

Members of the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, including Gary Anderson, left, Kyle Walsh and Adrian Ahlquist, rehearse Oct. 2 in the choir loft at St. Agnes in St. Paul.

perience of the veteran members and stresses the importance of integrating new members into the chorale. “We need their youth and vitality and energetic voices,” he said. Younger members of the chorale often need several years to become comfortable with the choir’s massive repertoire of music. Kyle Walsh, a senior at Chesterton Academy in Edina and a first-year member of the choir, has found a mentor in long-time member Gary Anderson. “Gary took me under his wing. He knows his parts well and I work off him — listen PLEASE TURN TO CATHOLIC ON PAGE 23A

Chorale schedule Catholics can experience the Latin Choral Mass at St. Agnes in St. Paul. The Twin Cities Catholic Chorale will sing with its orchestra at 29 Masses between Oct. 14 and June 2, 2013. Upcoming Masses include: ■ Sunday, Oct. 14, Joseph Haydn, “Paukenmesse,” 10 a.m. ■ Sunday, Oct. 21, W.A. Mozart, “Piccolomini Mass,” 10 a.m. ■ Sunday, Oct. 28, W.A. Mozart, “Trinitatis Mass,” 10 a.m. ■ Friday, Nov. 2, W.A. Mozart, “Requiem Mass,” 7:30 p.m. ■ Sunday, Nov. 4, Franz Schubert, “Mass in C,” 10 a.m. ■ Sunday, Nov. 11, Ludwig van Beethoven, “Mass in C,” 10 a.m. To view the full schedule or find out more about the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, visit WWW.CATHOLICCHORALE.ORG.

A retired University of Minnesota pediatrician, who is also a visual artist and Holocaust survivor, will share a narrative of his experiences through his paintings, prose and music by the Cathedral Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Robert FISCH Fisch’s presentation, “A Lesson of Love — Remain Humane Even in Inhumane Circumstances,” is set for 2 p.m., Oct. 21 at the Cathedral of St. Paul. “The Fisch presentation is important to bring to the Cathedral from the standpoint that, for centuries, cathedrals have been a place where the arts and humanities meet,” said Robert Ridgell, the Cathedral’s director of sacred music. Fisch’s art and presentation “allows our community to witness the love of God and neighbor,” Ridgell added. The Cathedral Chamber Orchestra will offer musical meditations to accompany Fisch’s narration PLEASE TURN TO PRESENTATION ON PAGE 23A

Cretin-Derham Hall is pleased to announce its 2012 alumni/ae and community award winners. Congratulations!

Bill Queenan ’57 Bishop Cretin Award

Fr. Greg Welch ’59 St. De La Salle Award

Ann Galvani ’66 Carondelet Award

Patsy Ann Buck Halvorsen ’49 Hugh Derham Award

Sue Goulet Eschenbacher ’62 Hour Glass Award

Mike Roscher, DDS ’68 Monsignor Ambrose Hayden Legacy Award

Teri McCloughan ’60 Eugene and Mary Frey Community Award


Co-sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the Brothers of the Christian Schools 550 S. Albert St. St. Paul, MN 55116 651-690-2443




Parish events Acoustic Café at St. Mark, St. Paul — October 12: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Carolyn Hall across the street from the church at 2001 Dayton Ave. Features music from five local Catholic musicians, coffee, tea, cocoa and assorted treats. Cost is $5. For information, visit WWW.SAINTMARK-MN.ORG. St. Joseph and St. Francis Xavier Chili Fest at St. Joseph, Taylors Falls — October 13: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 490 Bench St. For information, call (651) 465-7345. ‘Oktoberfest Polka Mass, German Dinner and Beer Tasting’ at Immaculate Conception, Columbia Heights — October 13: 5 p.m. polka Mass and 6 p.m. dinner at 4030 Jackson St. N.E. German buffet dinner follows. Cost is adults $12, seniors $10, children 14 & under $6. Kids meal $3. German and domestic beer tasting additional charge. For information call (763) 7889062 or visit ICCSONLINE.ORG. Oktoberfest at Mary, Mother of the Church, Burnsville — October 13: Annual parish feast day celebration features Oktoberfest-style activities and dinner at 5:15 p.m. Cost is $8 with a family max of $25. Parish festival at St. Albert, Albertville — October 14: 11 a.m. at 11400 57th St. N.E. Features a chicken and dressing dinner served until 2:30 p.m. and live music. Fall Festival at Holy Name, Minneapolis — October 14: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3637 11th Ave. S. Pancake Breakfast 8:30 am to noon. Adults $5, children 12 and under $3, 2 and under are free. Eat Street — 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — more great food and beer garden. Also features bingo, Silent auction, face painting and kids’ games. Annual German dinner at St. Boniface, Minneapolis — October 14: Polka Mass at 10:30 a.m. followed by authentic German dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 629 N.E. Second St. Cost is $10 for adults and $4 for children. Take-out available. Chicken dinner at St. Raphael, Crystal — October 14: 10 a.m. at 7301 Bass Lake Road. Cost is $8 for adults and

Ave. S. Cost is $10. Call (952) 884-5165 or visit WWW.SECOND-SUNDAY.ORG.

Don’t Miss

School events

Transfiguration hosts event for fathers and sons The Archdiocesan Association of Holy Name Societies is sponsoring, ‘An Evening for Catholic Men: Men United in Faith’ from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 21 at Transfiguration in Oakdale. The event has a special focus on fathers and sons and the family circle. Fathers and sons are encouraged to attend together. Evening includes adoration, Mass, prayer, dinner, a talk and a lively discussion with Catholic men of all ages. Father Bill Baer will speak. Cost is $10 per person. For more information call Chad Crow at (651) 303-9265 or email CHAD.CROW1@GMAIL.COM. $4.50 for children under 10. Take-out available. ‘Defending the Truth & the Beauty of Marriage’ at St. John, Little Canada — October 14: 1 p.m. at 2621 McMenemy St. Former news anchor Kalley Yanta and law professor Theresa Collett explain the facts and fallacies about the Marriage Protection Amendment All are welcome. For information, visit WWW.STJOHNSOFLC.ORG. Healing Mass at St. Joseph, Hopkins — October 16: Rosary at 7 p.m. followed by Mass at 1310 Mainstreet. Father Jim Livingston will be the celebrant. ‘Medical Ethics and the End of Life: A Catholic View’ at Nativity of Our Lord, St. Paul — October 17: 7 to 8 p.m. at Stanford Avenue and Prior Avenue S. ‘Love and Marriage with Thomas J. Winninger CSMA’ at Good Shepherd, Golden Valley — October 17: 7 p.m. at 145 Jersey Ave. S. Deacon Winninger will speak. For information, call (763) 544-0416. Rummage sale at St. Cyril, Minneapolis — October 17 to 19: 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon Friday ($2 bag day). Located at 13th and Second Street N.E. Treasure Hunt at Sacred Heart, Robbinsdale — October 18 to 20: Presale event Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. with $5 admission. Continues Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday ($3 bag day) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 4087 W. Broadway.

Rummage sale at St. Richard, Richfield — October 19 and 20: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at 7540 Penn Ave. S. Saturday is $5 bag day. Parish festival at St. Agnes, St. Paul — October 21: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 530 Lafond Ave. Celebrating the parish 125th anniversary with games, booya, raffles and a pie-making contest. Marriage amendment program at Our Lady of Grace, Edina — October 25: 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 5071 Eden Ave. Richard Aleman, outreach coordinator for the Minnesota Catholic Conference, will speak.

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. Singles group at St. Vincent de Paul, Brooklyn Park — ongoing second Saturday each month: 6 :15 p.m. at 9100 93rd Ave. N. Gather for a potluck supper, conversation and games. For information, call (763) 425-0412. 50-plus Second Sunday Supper event at St. Joan of Arc, Minneapolis — October 14: 5 p.m. social hour at 6 p.m. dinner and 7 p.m. program. 4537 Third

Harvest Fest at Maternity of Mary-St. Andrew School, St. Paul — October 12: 6 to 9:30 p.m. at 1414 Dale St. Food, beer and wine tasting. Features more than 25 local restaurants. 60th anniversary all-alumni reunion at St. John the Baptist School, New Brighton — October 13: Mass at 4:30 p.m. followed by social hour at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. at 835 Second Ave. N.W. Entertainment after dinner. For information, visit WWW.ST JOHNNYB.ORG. Open house at St. Bartholomew Catholic School, Wayzata — October 16: 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 630 E. Wayzata Blvd. Pre-school options for children 35 years old, full day kindergarten and grades 1-6. For information please call (952) 473-6189 or visit WWW.ST-BARTS. ORG/SCHOOL.ORG.

Other events Archdiocesan Mass of God's Children at Nativity of Our Lord Church, St.Paul — October 15: Mass at 7 p.m at 1900 Stanford Ave. followed by fellowship in Steiner Hall. Grandparents, siblings, other family members and friends are welcome. There will also be an opportunity to donate a memorial/grief box in memory of your baby. Sponsored by Nativity parish and by God's Children, a ministry sponsored by the Archdiocesan Office for Marriage, Family & Life. For information or to volunteer, call (651) 291-4488. Catholic Health Care Professionals’ Retreat at Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo — October 12-14: “The Healing Power of Christ” Retreat Master will be Bishop Lee Piché. Held at Christ the King Retreat Center, 621 First Ave. Friday 6:30 p.m. to Sunday noon. Also, Saturday only is available. Sponsored by Curatio. For information and to pre-register visit WWW.CURATIOAPOSTO LATE.COM or call (763) 786-4945.

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:


(No attachments, please.) FAX: (651) 291-4460. MAIL: “Calendar,” The Catholic Spirit, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102.


School hepherd Dr., S l fu h it Fa lumbia 3355 Co 121 n a Eag 55

Invites you to:

A FAIR TRADE SALE Saturday, November 3 10:00 A.M – 4:00 P.M. Products include handcrafts and food items made by economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers.

The sale of these items provides a sustainable livelihood for these small-scale producers. The Fair Trade Sale is not a fundraiser. Over 90% of the purchase price goes directly back to support the artisans and farmers that produce the product.

Cash or Check only. We are unable to accept credit cards More Information, contact Jeanne Creegan 651-681-9575



Catholic chorale’s season to begin

Presentation to feature doctor’s artwork CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21A

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21A to him,” Walsh said. Mary Eilen, a senior at the University of St. Thomas and the newest member of the chorale has two mentors, Michael and Kathleen Eilen — her mom and dad. “The chorale has been part of our family’s atmosphere for a long time,” Mary Eilen said as she remembered her dad frequently practicing his parts for the Masses at home. Michael Eilen considers his 19-year contribution to the choir one of his primary vocations. “Singing this music involves everything that I am,” he said. “It fulfills me, in a certain earthly sense, that my gifts from God can be utilized fully.” Henning Rotstein, a member of the chorale for three years, admits that singing in the group is hard work, but it helps him escape the pressures of work and school. “I actually get to sit down. I get to sit down and sing with talented singers and musicians,” Rotstein said. “I praise God and celebrate with the gifts he has given me.” Whether veteran or newcomer, all members of the chorale consider their singing a prayer, not a performance. “We are united and all praying together as a choir,” said Mary Eilen. “Everyone listening becomes part of that.”

and images of his artwork presented on screen. Fisch, a native of Budapest, Hungary, was sent to concentration camps at the age of 18. Later, under the Hungarian communist regime, he was directed to study medicine. As a physician during the Hungarian revolution, Fisch risked his life to treat both rebels and communists in makeshift hospitals. “As a survivor, I believe we have a special obligation in being alive to stand against oppression and injustice,” Fisch said. Still, Fisch only reluctantly started sharing his stories in the last 15 years following a request from a teacher in Pine City. “Seven parents made up my first public audience and from there it all happened without any intention,” Fisch said, adding that his presentation does not emphasize horror or pain, but focuses on humanity. “One injustice cannot correct another,” he said. “We need to learn from our experiences. Look deeper, and we will find that we have more similarities than differences. I have found that each generation must learn anew how to be civilized.” When Fisch came to the United States in 1957, he became a medical intern and eventually a professor in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, where he practiced and taught until his retirement. He is known internationally for his clinical research on PKU (phenylketonuria), a genetic disease which can lead to brain damage. While working full time in medicine, Fisch nourished an artistic side, studying art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, Walker Art Center, University of Minnesota and Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His work will be featured at the cathedral event. Although the presentation is intended for an older audience, Fisch has developed teaching materials for classrooms that he

These Words Are Their Flowers — “They Were Killed by Hatred; Their Memory Is Kept Alive in Love.”

Courtesy of the Cathedral of St. Paul

One of the images from Dr. Robert Fisch’s presentation.

distributes through his foundation, Light from the Yellow Star, and companion website, WWW.YELLOWSTARFOUNDATION.ORG. The event, sponsored by the Cathedral Heritage Foundation, will be held in Hayden Hall on the lower level of the Cathedral, at the corners of Summit Avenue and John Ireland Boulevard in St. Paul. The suggested donation is $15; $5 for students and seniors.

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“Our faith expresses itself in worship, but also in witness. We cannot separate who we are from how we live.” Archbishop Timothy Broglio, head of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, speaking Sept. 30 at the annual Red Mass for the legal community in Washington, D.C.



Quotes from this week’s newsmakers

Latino family day The Latino community in the archdiocese will celebrate Latino Family Day Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. Buses will arrive at The the Hayden center Catholic Spirit on Kellogg Avenue and participants will walk to the Cathedral, entering through different doors to represent that they come from many different places. Bishop Lee Piché will celebrate the Mass. After the liturgy Father Lawrence Hubbard will be honored for his many decades of service working within the Latino community. Speakers, lunch and hospitality will follow.

“Works of charity and justice are one of the most powerful ways to inspire people to see what the church is and think about why they might want to re-engage with it or . . . meet the Lord for the first time.”

News Notes

Former Catholic Spirit board member dies John Finnegan, long-time vice chair of The Catholic Spirit board of directors, died Oct. 2. He was senior vice president and assistant publisher at the St. Paul Pioneer Press until he retired in 1989. Finnegan died in hospice at his St. Paul home from intestinal cancer. He was 87. His funeral was Oct. 4 at St. Thomas More, St. Paul.

OCTOBER 11, 2012

— Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services, who is attending the world Synod of Bishops dedicated to the new evangelization Oct. 7-28 at the Vatican

Jim Bovin for the Catholic Spirit

Msgr. Stanley Srnec, center, celebrates his 70th ordination anniversary with Archbishop John Niensted Sept. 26 at the Leo C. Byrne Residence in St. Paul. His sister, Rosemary Jirak and her husband Ed joined the celebration. Msgr. Srnec was ordained in 1942. He served at St. Wenceslaus, New Prague; St. Stanislaus, St. Paul; Most Holy Trinity, Veseli and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Minneapolis before serving 26 years at St. Raphael, Crystal. He retired from active ministry in 1996.

Parish anniversaries Our Lady of Lourdes in Minneapolis will celebrate its 135th anniversary Oct. 14. Archbishop John Nienstedt will celebrate the 11 a.m. Mass, which is followed by a procession to DeLaSalle High School. A buffet lunch will be served at the

school at 1:30 p.m. For information or WWW.OURLADYOF reservations, visit LOURDESMN.COM. St. John’s Church of Little Canada celebrated its 160th anniversary October 6 and 7. Special liturgies, historical displays, a luncheon and children’s activities were included in the celebration.

“If the church is not present in this space, if the good news is not proclaimed ‘digitally,’ then we risk abandoning the many people for whom this is where they ‘live’: This is the forum in which they get their news and information, form and express their opinions, ask questions and engage in debate.” — Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, speaking Sept. 28 about the place Catholic communications must have in the digital world

NOTICE Look for The Catholic Spirit advertising insert from


in all copies of this issue.

n io ct ge se pa ut 8- ll-o u lp

ia ec sp

World Mission Sunday Oct. 21, 2012

Witnessing faith near and far

The Catholic Spirit â– October 11, 2012 CNS photo



World Mission Sunday

We are called to be missionaries of faith and joy


Sharing Faith Deacon Mickey Friesen

They are two sides of the same Christian life and mission

e just completed hosting a delegation visit from our partner Diocese of Kitui, Kenya. This eight-year-old partnership of solidarity between our two dioceses is designed to build relationships, exchange gifts and share faith. I am struck with how their faith is so connected to joy. They say, “God is good all the time! All the time God is good.” This phrase accompanies their words and deeds. Before they talk about the desperate drought and food insecurity at this time, they first claim God’s goodness. No matter what happens, they place it in the context of God’s goodness and faithfulness. It seems like their faith evokes their joy and their joy sustains their faith.

Easter prevails Faith and joy are two sides of the same Christian life and mission. At a recent event held at Fordham University, comedian Stephen Colbert and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York spoke about the relationship between faith, joy and spirituality. Colbert said he sees the Catholic Church as teaching joy, which he called the “infallible sign of the presence of God.” Cardinal Dolan added, “Here is my reason for joy: the cross of Christ. . . . On that Friday strangely called ‘Good,’ literally the ‘lights went out’ as even the sun hid in

that God is for us and God is with us in all circumstances. It is joy to experience the way that Christ brings life out of death. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus reveals God’s plan for transforming the world. To be baptized into this mystery of faith is to also be sent forth into the world witnessing to God’s presence among us. As the Body of Christ, we are each given a share in the good news of Jesus that makes us new and makes us one. Realizing this blessed assurance we have in Jesus can also bring us joy.

Church’s greatest work

Dianne Towalski / The Catholic Spirit

Rose Anne Hallgren, president of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women, shows the organization’s newsletter to Anna Mwanza, a delegate visiting from Kitui, Kenya, during a meeting Oct. 2. Deacon Mickey Friesen said he is struck by how much the faith of Kenyans is connected to joy.

shame. It seemed we could never smile again. But then came the ‘Sunday called Easter, the Son rose from the dead and God had the last laugh.’” He concluded by saying, “Lord knows there will be plenty of Good Fridays in our lives . . . but they will not prevail, Easter will.” As we begin the Year of Faith, we have an opportunity to rediscover our faith in the cross and the joy in

the resurrection. We start by celebrating World Mission Sunday, our annual celebration for Catholics in every parish in the world to celebrate our universal faith in Christ and our call to support the missionary activity of the church that sends ambassadors of faith and joy to the ends of the earth. As our brothers and sisters in Kitui expressed so well, the good news is

World Mission Sunday connects us to what God is doing in the hearts and minds of people all over the world. We support those who go forth to bring this message of God’s goodness and faithfulness. They carry with them the joy that comes from knowing God’s will to bring life out of death. It remains the greatest work of the church. As Scripture says, “How lovely are the feet of those who bring good news” (Romans 10:15). May we each find joy in our faith and share it. God is good all the time. All the time, God is good! Deacon Mickey Friesen is director of the archdiocesan Center for Mission.

World Mission Sunday



Kitui delegation visit features faith, friendship . . . and fun By Dianne Towalski The Catholic Spirit

Eight years into the global solidarity partnership between the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Kitui, Kenya, the two faith communities are still learning from each other, building relationships and strengthening each other’s faith. A 10-member delegation from the Kitui diocese visited the archdiocese from Sept. 27 to Oct. 9. “This partnership is about communion between particular churches, concrete ties in a community between two churches. That, I’m sure, will be strengthened.” said Bishop Anthony Muheria of Kitui. “That is part of our faith.” Delegates stayed with host families from parishes around the Twin Cities for the first week and visited with people in the area that do the same work they do back home. A teacher from Kitui, for example, spent time at a school. After home visits, the archdiocesan leadership team from the partnership met with delegates to discuss partnership and Kitui needs,” said Eric Simon, mission promotions manager for the archdiocesan Center for Mission. “A very successful day of workshops led to many specific actions and directions that will lead to an enhanced relationship where both are able to share their gifts of faith and resources.”

Sharing conversation Anna Mwanza shared stories about her women’s group, the Catholic Women’s Association of the Diocese of Kitui — of which she is the chair — with members of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women during a lunch Oct. 2 at ACCW President Rose Anne Hallgren’s home. “We are learning from one another,” Mwanza said. PLEASE TURN TO FAITH ON PAGE 7B

Photo courtesy of Eric Simon

Dale Hennen, from the Office of Parish Services for the archdiocese, hugs Jacob Nzoka at the welcome picnic for delegates visiting from the Diocese of Kitui, Kenya Sept. 28 at Fort Snelling State Park.

A wo rl d - wi d e r el i gi o us community serving on four continents; born 221 years ago in France amidst chaos, transition and revolution That same spirit of hope which continues to impassion our hearts today amidst chaos, transition and revolution in the 21st century.

Hospital 651-480-4100

This is our story. We are Marian women for Christ Courageous in Faith and Daring

Senior Living 651-480-4333 Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit 651-480-4126

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Witnessing faith

Modern-day missionaries share perspectives on their work Society of the Divine Word Father Roger Schroeder Father Roger Schroeder spent six years in Papua, New Guinea as a young missionary. He has a doctorate in missiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and has been teaching Intercultural Studies and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Father Schroeder holds the Bishop Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology. Q: Describe what led you to become a missionary in a foreign country. A: While on a retreat for altar servers in the seventh grade, I heard Father Willie Ross — a 5’4” missionary with a long white beard — talk about his missionary life in Papua New Guinea. I said to myself, “That’s what I want to do!” When I arrived there the first time in 1975, I went to his grave (he died two years earlier), and I said, “It is because of you that I am here!” Q: What did your experience in Papua New Guinea teach you about being a missionary and “witnessing faith”? A: My seventh-grade images of a missionary were very romanticized. After six years in Papua New Guinea, I learned about the reality of missionary life, which I now describe as “the worst of days and the best of days.” I faced deep loneliness and frustration. On the other hand, I met God in new ways and experienced the fullness of the meaning of life through my relationships with some wonderful villagers, who were first- and second-generation Christians. Q: Describe an instance in which you deeply touched someone through your missionary work.

accompanied several young people as potential catechists, who eventually would teach, preach, pray with the sick, and lead prayer services on Sundays and at funerals. What a blessing to meet one of them, by the name of Aaron, 20 years later. On the day we met, he was returning from a week of preparing some people in a faraway settlement (two days walk) for eventual baptism. Aaron had also served the diocese over the years in their efforts to renew other parishes. Today he is a gifted and dedicated catechist, and a caring husband and father of eight. God touched Aaron through me and God is touching so many others through him. Q: If people are unable to go to another country to do missionary work, how can they support missionary efforts? A: Mission occurs across the ocean and across the street. First, all Christians are to be missionaries themselves at home. They are to be the eyes and ears, hands and feet, head and heart of God’s love, forgiveness and justice with family, neighbors, coworkers, and those on the margins of society. Second, Catholics can support those doing missionary work in other countries through prayer, financial support, keeping informed, and being involved in parish activities like parish twinning, evangelization teams, and stewardship committees. Q: How is “proclaiming the Gospel in a global age” different from a generation or two ago? A: The world has gotten much smaller for us and many others due to planes, internet, Skype, and cell phones. The message is the same but the avenues of communication are changing.

A: In the early 1980s, I identified and

Q: What is the main message you are

Maryknoll Sister Claudette LaVerdiere Sister Claudette joined Maryknoll Sisters in 1956 immediately after high school and was assigned to East Africa as a teacher. She lived in Africa for many years before obtaining a licentiate in sacred theology at Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. She subsequently taught in Kenya and Myanmar and recently published “On the Threshold of the Future: The Life and Spirituality of Mother Mary Joseph Rogers.” What during your mission work in Africa made the biggest impact on you? A: I was always struck by the resilience of the African women. Regardless of life’s difficulties, they maintained a hopeful attitude. Once, in a women’s group one of them said, “We know it’s too late for us, but we have such great hope for our daughters.” In the course of the conversation, it began to dawn on the women that the traditional way in which they raised their sons excluded any hope for a better future for their daughters. Their openness to such insights was in itself life changing for them. Q: How do you think you made the biggest impact on others? A: In Mombasa, Kenya (1980-84), I was on the sevenmember diocesan Christian education team. With the exception of the two of us expatriate sisters, all others were Kenyan — two priests and three laymen. One of the latter was team leader.

Father Roger Schroeder visits with former parishioners in 2003 after Mass in Papua New Guinea.

hoping to convey to conference attendees? A: All Christians can share the good news of God’s life, love, and justice, with or without words (proclamation or witness), in many different ways. It all requires both listening and speaking. In my afternoon workshop, I will continue this reflection by exploring how we can do this through “table fellowship” around three “tables” today — dining room table, eucharistic table, and the “table” of God’s many diverse peoples near and far. In this way, we are nourished and fed, and others are nourished and fed through us. Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? A: For over twenty years, I continue to be a missionary in Chicago through my teaching of women and men preparing to live out their faith more fully as lay and ordained, lawyers and doctors, young and old, both overseas and at home. A fifth of the students are seminarians, a third are women, a third born in other countries, and over half are lay persons. My missionary life continues to be challenging and fulfilling!

The team’s composition and the fact that a layman led the group made the biggest impact on the participants. They had never experienced such mutuality in relationships. In the formation of Small Christian Communities on the Kenya coast, the team led more by example than by words. Q: How were you influenced by Mother Mary Joseph Rogers? SISTER CLAUDETTE A: Mother Mary Joseph’s influence on me came almost exclusively through our sisters who had known her personally. Our founder died on October 9, 1955, and I entered in September the following year. Although we heard her voice as we listened to recordings of her spiritual conferences, she came alive in a qualitatively different way when the sisters shared with us their personal experience of her warmth and wit. Even after her first biography was published in 1964, the retelling of the stories of the early days continued to be the predominant way her spirit has been passed on to us. In recent years, I was asked to complete a new expression of the life and spirituality of our founder begun by a sister who became too ill to finish the work. I read Mother Mary Joseph’s writings and marveled at the timelessness of her insights. What amazed me most was that her counsel applies to all people. We are all called to make God’s love visible especially by the way we treat one another.

St. Joseph the Worker in Maple Gro

The event will be a day of prayer, lea enriching, motivating workshops. The conference will be from 9 a.m. to N., Maple Grove. For information or to r Conference speakers will share expe proclaim the faith through witness and The Catholic Spirit asked four of the p responses appear on these two pages.

Q: What words of advice do you have for those in doing missionary work?

A: Above all, we must be people of prayer, consc in the presence of God. We must be people who p desire for personal satisfaction or success. All that is required of us is faithfulness, even if o mission sometimes seem like a colossal waste of ou energies. We do well to recall that Jesus squandere constantly emptying himself. He enjoined us to do We need also to steep ourselves in the new cultu deeply to what it is saying to us. It is a mistake to a understand, even if we know all the words. In a ne each of us is like a “child,” always having more to call to participate in the mission of Jesus is not on treasured but one to be lived out in deep gratitude

Q: What has been your greatest reward in doin

A: My greatest reward has been the relationship appreciation that were forged among the people w lived and worked. It is very true that we missioner more than we give. Acknowledgment of the blessi never ends.

Q: What is the main message you are hoping t conference attendees?

A: The main message is that of Jesus: “Love one love you” (John 15:12). Mother Mary Joseph urged Sisters to see one another as God sees them. When people as God does, that changes everything.

World Mission Sunday 5B Molly Schorr Molly Schorr is the director of parish life and youth ministry at St. Vincent de Paul in Brooklyn Park. She is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict majoring in theology and music and St. John’s University with a master’s degree in theology and pastoral ministry. She lives in Plymouth with her husband and daughter. Q: Why did you become a youth minister? A: I heard and listened to God’s call. In college I was originally a pre-medicine major, and since I pass out at the sight of my own blood I was asking God to lead me in another direction. Throughout my experiences in the church growing up and in college, I started to feel the nudge into parish ministry, but it was so different from what I initially thought I was going to be doing. Through prayer and discernment and great mentors, God opened the doors for me. I have been doing parish and youth ministry for over ten years and I know that this is exactly what God has created me to do. Q: What are the most effective ways you have found to reach youth and deepen their faith? A: Teens are very relational and tangible people. It is hard to talk about the faith without giving them something to touch, see and hear. Service opportunities and retreat ministry allow teens to dive into the teachings of their faith and grow in their relationship with Christ. Finding faith-filled adults to minister to and with the teens also gives them a witness of what it means to live out discipleship. Q: What are a couple of practical ways that have helped teens be public witnesses of their faith?

ove will host the conference, “Witnessing Faith.”

arning and sharing with keynote speakers and a variety of

o 3:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at St. Joseph the Worker, 7180 Hemlock Lane register, call (763) 425-6505 or visit WWW.CENTERFORMISSION.ORG eriences and offer perspectives regarding what it means to through word, especially in the 21st century. presenters about their work and their presentations. Their edited . — The Catholic Spirit

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A: Service and peer ministry. When teens serve the local church through peer ministry programs and the local community through service, they are literally doing what Christ asked of us when he said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The best way for teens to share their faith is to model it in their actions. This hopefully will translate into a lifelong journey that they continue to strive throughout their whole life. Q: Describe a success story you have had in youth ministry. A: I have one teen that in seventh-grade was dropped off at youth group. It was clear he did not want to be there and made every attempt to show us that.

Alexie Torres-Fleming Alexie Torres-Fleming was raised in the projects of south Bronx in New York City witnessing the decline of her neighborhood. She left the projects for a corporate career, only to return to the Bronx in 1992, joining a community action group at Holy Cross Parish. She and other leaders founded Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ) in response to an arson attack by drug dealers on her parish. After 17 years as executive director of YMPJ, Alexie moved on to public speaking, writing and serving on several boards and she still serves on the board of YMPJ. What made you give up your corporate job to do this work? A: A lot of it was feeling a call from God, feeling very disconnected from my community and feeling like there were ways I would never fit in, and feeling that the type of success I was achieving was still not making me happy. And knowing that even though I had a nice apartment and I traveled a lot and I was outside of the neighborhood, whenever I came home, my neighborhood wasn’t any different and my community wasn’t any better from my own individual success. My parents were still there and my sisters and I really felt a need to go back.

Q: How has YMPJ made a difference in the South Bronx? A: We’ve done a lot of community organizing, particularly around environmental issues in the neighborhood. We’re crisscrossed by many highways. We are in a very toxic community. . . . What we worked to do is reclaim a beautiful river that runs through the neighborhood that was abandoned, covered in brown fields and toxic sites. There are some 25 acres of green land and parkland, waterfront access to view, places for canoeing and fishing along our river as a result of the work that young people are doing. They reclaimed that river and got the city and state to pay attention and do cleanup work and a lot of restoration. We are a neighborhood that has suffered from stopand-search policies and a lot of police arrests. Young people have organized to understand their rights and to be able to defend themselves around some very difficult issues with the New York Police Department. We’ve also done a lot of work on urban farming. The church that we are adjacent to has rooftop solar panels and an urban farm where we grow herbs and vegetables. The idea is we can help the environment and live healthily and have access to healthy food, even in the poorest congressional district in the United States. It’s also important for me that young people for two decades have come through an organization that has helped them see that there is a deep connection between their faith and the work of justice. Our role as

Molly Schorr, top left, plays a game of “Apples to Apples” with members of her youth group.

That summer his mom signed him up for our summer junior high service program. He loved it! He really enjoyed working side-by-side with his peers at their service site. The service that he participated in impacted his life and he saw how God was working though him to help the people. Now he is an 11th-grader and a peer minister to our junior high program. He has been on the mission trips and pretty much every other youth ministry event we have had. Q: How is youth ministry changing? A: Lives are increasingly becoming so busy and teenagers are forced at a much younger age to think about college and their future. Teenagers don’t feel that they have the “free time” for faith. We also live in such a relativistic world in which the Christian faith does not seem to fit. It is an ever growing challenge to show teens that their faith is relevant in today’s world and it is invaluable for their future. Q: What is the main message you are hoping to convey to conference attendees? A: I am hoping to give practical suggestions in a clear, concise and humorous way on how we can encourage the teens we work with to live out their faith. I am bringing two high school teens with me in the hopes that through their witness, the adults that come to the conference can learn from what has worked for them and see the ultimate goal of our ministry to youth.

people of God is not just to go to church and make it into heaven some day, but to see that we are connected to the people around us and our communities. The lasting legacy is that you have a generation of young people who did not grow up like I did. When I grew up, I believed that I needed people to save me, whether they be missionaries or policy makers or elected officials. Things just happened to me. Poverty happened. Violence and destruction happened and I had no agency and no voice. What has happened is that there is a lasting legacy that these young people — that I’ve worked with for 20 years now — get to pass on to their children. [That legacy] says that as children of God, you have power and you have dignity and you have a voice and we can partner with God to save ourselves and to work it out and to lead within our own community. Q: What is the main message you are hoping to convey to conference attendees? A: We are all called and have a purpose and a mission here on this earth and it is more than just survival, getting through, getting the next paycheck. God has called us to something extraordinary and great. When you find your mission in Christ, it is always connected to others, it is always about community. I want to challenge people that their mission is to be connected to all of God’s children, especially those that are at the margin because our church teaches preferential option for the poor.

6B T



World Mission Sunday

Local Native American Catholics to witness Kateri canonization From staff and wire reports When Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is canonized a saint Oct. 21 in Rome, four members of Gichitwaa Kateri parish in Minneapolis will be there to witness it. “I am very excited that Kateri will be canonized in my lifetime,” said Kathryn Guimaraes, a member of the parish that serves the Catholic Native American community who will be attending the ceremony with Sylvia Spence, another parishioner. “It is awesome that a person from my ethnic background has achieved the honor of being named a saint,” she said. Deacon Joseph Damiani, who serves Gichitwaa Kateri, and his wife Sandra also will travel to the ceremony. “To be in Rome together with representatives of all the Native communities of the United States and Canada is for me a once-in-alifetime opportunity to see the spiritual gifts of our people recognized before the whole world,” Damiani said.

Opening a path Blessed Kateri’s sainthood cause was opened in 1932, and she was declared venerable in 1943. In June 1980, she became the first Native American to be beatified, giving her the title “Blessed.” In December, Pope Benedict XVI advanced her sainthood cause by signing a decree recognizing the miracle needed for her to become a saint. She will be canonized at the Vatican along with six others. Members of Gichitwaa Kateri parish

have been praying for her canonization for a long time, said Guimaraes, who added that community members have prayed for her intercession because they believe she understands the challenges faced by the Native American community. “Kateri opened the path for the Native American community. All we have to do is follow in her footsteps just as she followed the footsteps of Christ. She was a truly humble person who loved God and cared about her community,” Guimaraes said. Blessed Kateri, known as “the Lily of the Mohawks,” was born to a Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father in 1656 along the Hudson River in what is today upstate New York. A Jesuit missionary baptized her in 1676 when she was 20. A year later she fled to Canada and died there in 1680. She astounded the Jesuits with her deep spirituality and her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She took a private vow of chastity and devoted herself to prayer and to teaching prayers to the children and helping the sick and elderly. Soon after Blessed Kateri died, Catholics started to claim that favors and miracles had been obtained through her intercession. Native Americans have made appeals to the Catholic Church for her recognition since at least the late 1800s. “In our community, faith is an integral part of our being. Prayer is a way of life. Everyday we give thanks to our Creator

CNS photo / Courtesy of the Cause of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is depicted in this detail view of the oldest known portrait of her painted about 16 years after her death in 1680. It was painted by Jesuit Father Claude Chauchetiere, who personally knew Blessed Kateri.

for all he has given to us,” Damiani said. “Kateri Tekakwitha exemplifies this in her devotion to Jesus, God's greatest gift for all people.”

The six others being canonized Oct. 21 are: ■ Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai. Mother Marianne led a group of sisters from New York to the Hawaiian Islands in 1883 to establish a system of nursing care for leprosy patients. ■ Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian priest who founded the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth for men and the Humble Servants of the Lord for women. He died in 1913. ■ Blessed Jacques Berthieu, a French Jesuit priest who was martyred in Madagascar in 1896. ■ Blessed Carmen Salles y Barangueras, the Spanish founder of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. She worked with disadvantaged girls and prostitutes and saw that early education was essential for helping young women. She died in 1911. ■ Blessed Peter Calungsod, a lay Catholic from Cebu, Philippines, who accompanied Jesuit missionaries to Guam as a catechist and was martyred there in 1672 while he was in his late teens. ■ Blessed Anna Schaffer, a lay German woman who wanted to be a missionary, but couldn’t do so after a succession of physical accidents and disease. She accepted her infirmity as a way of sanctification. Her grave has been a pilgrimage site since her death in 1925. Catholic Spirit staff writer Dianne Towalski and Catholic News Service contributed to this story.

Holy Week in Rome with Medjugorje Retreat Spiritual Director: Fr. James Starbuck Contact Fr. Jim (319) 266-6333 (319) 429-4292

March 26-April 7, 2013


from Des Moines

Your Trip Includes: † Round-trip airfare † Accommodations for 11 Nights as follows or similar: ~ 5 Nights: Mar 27-01, Rome, Bonus Pastor ~ 6 Nights: Apr 01-07, Medjugorje, Home/Hotel Accommodation † Tour Escort throughout in Rome, 4 days with Escort in Medjugorje † Professional local Catholic guides: 3 1/2 days in Rome, 4 days in Medjugorje † Sightseeing for 1 1/2 days in Rome – 2 Local excursions in Medjugorje † Breakfast and Dinner Daily, Wine with dinners in Medjugorje † Transportation by air-conditioned private motor coach † Mass Daily and Spiritual Activities † Luggage handling (1 piece per person) † Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents

Missionaries of Faith

Pray and Give Generously on

Come Hang With Us!

World Mission Sunday October 21, 2012

The Society for the Propagation of the Faith

INFORMATION NIGHT TUESDAY NOV. 13th, 7PM 651-690-2477 2017 Bohland Avenue St. Paul, MN 55116

World Mission Sunday



Faith formation topic of discussion during visit CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3B “We share so many things, our strengths, our weaknesses, and get to know one another. We make friends.” She told them about how the Kitui women keep poultry and goats for meat and to sell, grow sunflowers to make oil, and weave baskets. They also have raised funds and started building a 58-room house for women students attending a nearby university. “They do such meaningful things,” Hallgren said. Primary school teacher Joyce Mutwii, who works with deaf children and children with special needs in Kenya, visited with deaf students at a school in Red Wing. She said she was struck by the amount and quality of resources available to students here and the small class sizes. “The environment is very different here. There are classes with less students; in our place we have classes with more students,” she said. “We are not able to meet the needs of each and every student because they have such varying needs.” Patrick Kiusya, food security coordinator and deputy Caritas director for the Diocese of Kitui, and Jacob Nzoka, Liferoots project coordinator, visited several farms in the area. At one farm they got to try squash. Kiusya said he had never seen squash in Kenya, but he liked it so much he took seeds so he can try to grow it himself. “Farming is taken very seriously here,” Nzoka said.

Facing challenges Faith formation was a topic of discussion during the visit. Bishop Muheria, in an interview with The Catholic Spirit, said faith formation in Kenya is facing many challenges, including a lack of cultural acceptance of the faith, poverty and shortage of personnel — not only priests, but sisters and catechists. “There are church communities that will go for up to a month without Mass,” he said. “We are eager to do a lot, but we don’t, many times, have the means to do it.”

Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Bishop Anthony Muheria of the Diocese of Kitui, Kenya, left, marches in the Candlelight Rosary Procession Oct. 5 with Bishop Lee Piché, right.

Another challenge — similar to the challenge in the United States — is having people live out the faith in their daily lives. “We know how the faith should be, our Catholic faith tells us this, but how do I live it socially, in politics, in interactions with other people, in my profession and in my family? That we need to work on,” Bishop Muheria said. Aside from the challenges, Bishop Muheria said, the people are very prayerful, open and generous and they

make a lot of sacrifices to get to Mass. “With what I have said about the challenges, I think there is a lot of very vivid expression of a living faith.” Water also continues to be a concern for the partnership. “Water is the biggest blessing you have here in St. Paul and Minneapolis; it is not a problem here,” Bishop Muheria said. “If you appreciate this as a God-given gift, you will be able to appreciate where there is none and you will see the value of water here more.” Much has been done through the partnership regarding the shortage of water in Kitui, including the construction of sand dams at five sites around the diocese. The water collected is not being filtered yet, and that is one thing the partnership hopes to facilitate in the near future. Gennaro Maffia, a chemical engineering professor at Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y., presented one possibility for water purification to members of the group Oct. 8. The process involves injecting collagen into water to trap contaminants and make them easier to filter out with a basic sand or charcoal filter, Maffia said. The collagen needed for the process could be obtained from livestock and the most likely supplier would be a meat packing plant. The substance is very inexpensive — it is usually not used and is discarded. Members of the partnership are looking at several possibilities. “This is not something to take lightly,” Nzoka said. “As the partnership focuses on mutual solidarity, personal relationships are sure to develop,” Simon said. “This was evident during the delegation trip as there were many hugs and tears as hosts said good-bye to the delegates. Long-lasting relationships developed between archdiocesan hosts and Kenyans during this visit and are sure to last.”

Help a girl grow in her fa aith. Volunteer with Girl Scouts. From Crisis to Holiness:

Vatican II, Blessed John Paul II and the Renewal of the Ministerial Priesthood 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15 Owens Auditorium University of St. Thomas St. Paul campus Father Andrew Cozzens Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of Liturgy The lecture is free and open to the public. The ministerial priesthood was radically challenged by Vatican II. The post-conciliar period marked a moment of crisis in the priesthood with changing roles and rampant departures from ministry. Out of this seeming chaos, Pope John Paul II invited priesthood, one rooted in the Council’s vision of priestly holiness expressed through pastoral charity. This dramatic story of the reform and renewal will demonstrate how the priest must live his identity today in order to serve the New Evangelization. | 800-845-0787 All girls K–12 | Financial assistance available SOD055013


World Mission Sunday


Evangelization can never be just a marginal concern, pope says Catholic News Service Evangelization must never be a marginal concern for the church, Pope Benedict XVI said. From bishops to religious and the lay community, “All elements of the great mosaic of the church must feel themselves strongly called on by the Lord’s mandate to preach the Gospel, so that Christ may be proclaimed everywhere,” the pope said in his message for World Mission Sunday. The annual observance will be marked Oct. 21 at the Vatican and in most countries. In his message, the pope said there is a “renewed urgency” for the missionary mandate even as the church celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity (“Ad Gentes”). That urgency is based on the increasing number of people around the world who still have not heard the Gospel message and the growing secularism seen in traditionally Christian countries, he said. “It’s necessary to renew enthusiasm for sharing the faith so as to promote new evangelization in traditionally Christian communities and countries that are losing their reference to God, and to help them rediscover the joy of believing,” the pope said. One of the biggest challenges to evangelization, he said, “is the crisis of faith,

not just in the Western world, but among a large part of humankind, which nonetheless hungers and thirsts for God and must be invited and led to the bread of life and living water.” The message’s theme, “Called to radiate the word of truth,” comes from the pope’s apostolic letter “Porta Fidei” (“The Door of Faith”), released last October to formally announce the Year of Faith starting Oct. 11.

Adapting approaches “Concern for evangelization must never remain on the margins of church activity and the personal lives of Christians;” people of faith need to identify with their faith much more strongly and understand that they are not just recipients but also missionaries of the Gospel, the pope said. Given the complexity of the modern world, new ways of communicating the word of God must be found, he said. Preaching the Gospel effectively in an ever-changing world “requires constantly adapting lifestyles, pastoral plans and diocesan organization to this fundamental dimension of the church’s being,” that is, evangelization, he said. “Faith is . . . a light that must not stay hidden, but shine throughout the whole house. It is the most important gift ever given in our lives, and we cannot keep it for ourselves.”

December 1-2 & February 23-24

Holy Hour on Election Eve November 5, 2012 — 7-8 p.m. sponsored by

Rosary Across Minnesota! and the 54-Day Rosary Novena of Saint Bonaventure’s Catholic Community in

Answer to Our Lady’s Call to Prayer for our Country and our Church! Join Our Lady of America as She comes to Minnesota to intercede for us and pray with us For God’s will for the pressing issues of our day! • The 2012 Presidential and General Elections • Religious Liberty and Freedom of Conscience • Protection for our Country and our Church • The Marriage Amendment in Minnesota • The HHS Mandate and the Health Care Law • The End of Abortion in our Land • World Peace

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Benediction and other Prayers Monday, November 5, 2012, 7-8 p.m. ST. BONAVENTURE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY Check 901 E. 90th Avenue, Bloomington, MN 55420 for 952-854-4733 (Parish Office). Directions: time each day after daily Mass. Daily 54-Day Rosary Novena continues through November 6th

The Catholic Spirit - October 11, 2012  

Vatican II anniversary, Celebrating World Mission Sunday, Candlelight Rosary Procession, Year of Faith

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