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January 24 is the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of the Diocese of Wilmington

January 24th, 2017 Posted in Featured

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“Do everything calmly and peacefully. Do as much as you can as well as you can. Strive to see God in all things without exception, and consent to his will joyously. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to him in word and deed. Walk very simply with the Cross of the Lord and be at peace with yourself.”

St. Francis de Sales

1567 – 1622

St. Francis de Sales (CNS)

St. Francis de Sales (CNS)

Born in the Duchy of Savoy (now France), Francis studied at Annecy, Paris and Padua, and was ordained in 1593. He spent four years reconverting Catholics who had become Calvinists, writing many tracts to explain basic tenets of the faith. In 1602 he became bishop of Geneva, which he reorganized and reformed. He also famously preached in Paris and wrote two devotional books that are still widely read. A 20-year friendship with St. Jane Frances de Chantal led to their founding the Order of the Visitation. Canonized in 1665 and declared a doctor of the church in 1877, Francis is the patron saint of journalists, authors and the deaf.

New poll shows Americans strongly support abortion restrictions

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — A few days before the annual March for Life, a new national poll indicated shifting public attitudes, crossing party labels, in favor of increased restrictions on abortion.

“When you ask Americans what they think of abortion … you get very, very strong numbers in favor of restrictions,” said Andrew T. Walther, vice president of communications of the Knights of Columbus, during a Jan. 23 news conference.

Participants carry a banner during the annual annual Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco Jan. 21. (CNS photo/Jose Aguirre, Walk for Life West Coast)

Participants carry a banner during the annual annual Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco Jan. 21. (CNS photo/Jose Aguirre, Walk for Life West Coast)

The Marist survey of 2,729 adults was conducted in December and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. It contains breakdowns by political affiliations and ethnicity but not religious beliefs, so there was no information on how many respondents were Catholics.

Fifty-two percent of the respondents indicated that they thought of themselves as “pro-choice,” while 42 percent self-identified as pro-life. But when the questions became more detailed on abortion policies, the numbers shifted.

Across political and ethnic lines, overwhelming majorities of respondents indicated they would like “significant restrictions.” That included 91 percent of those who called themselves supporters of President Donald J. Trump, and 55 percent of those who identified themselves as Hillary Clinton supporters. The poll further showed that 79 percent of both African-American and Latino respondents favored significant restrictions.

Further, 74 percent said they wanted the Supreme Court to rule on these restrictions, indicating support for overturning the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion virtually on demand.

Eighty-three percent said abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother, while 77 percent said it should not be permitted under any circumstance.

In line with Trump’s new executive order reinstating what’s called the Mexico City Policy, which bans tax dollars from funding groups that promote or perform abortion overseas, 83 percent opposed that use of tax money in other countries, and 62 percent opposed the use of tax money generally.

Fully half the respondents thought abortion “has a negative, long-term impact on a woman’s life,” while 19 percent were unsure.

Fifty-nine percent believe that abortion limits were either “important” or an immediate priority, and the same percentage agreed when asked if they thought abortion was morally wrong.

The same level of support was expressed for an abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and 60 percent believed that medical professionals with moral objections should not be legally required to provide abortion services.

The 44th annual March for Life, which draws thousands to Washington to commemorate the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe decision, will be held Jan. 27.

Pope confirms appointment of Opus Dei prelate

January 24th, 2017 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis confirmed the election of Spanish Msgr. Fernando Ocariz as the new prelate of Opus Dei.

The 72-year-old monsignor, who had been auxiliary vicar of Opus Dei, was elected and confirmed by the pope Jan. 23, the first day of voting by Opus Dei’s electoral congress, a gathering of priests and laymen.

Spanish Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, pictured in Rome in 2016, was elected Jan. 23 as the new head of the prelature of Opus Dei. His appointment was confirmed the same day by Pope Francis. (CNS photo/courtesy of Opus Dei)

Spanish Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, pictured in Rome in 2016, was elected Jan. 23 as the new head of the prelature of Opus Dei. His appointment was confirmed the same day by Pope Francis. (CNS photo/courtesy of Opus Dei)

Opus Dei is a personal prelature, which is in some ways like a diocese without geographic boundaries.

Msgr. Ocariz succeeds Bishop Javier Echevarria, who died in December.

Born in Paris in 1944 to a family exiled during the Spanish civil war, Msgr. Ocariz graduated from the University of Barcelona with a degree in physical sciences in 1966.

Prior to receiving his licentiate in theology from Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University in 1969, he lived in Rome in an Opus Dei house along with St. Josemaria Escriva, the Opus Dei founder. He also received a doctorate in theology from the University of Navarra in 1971, the same year of his ordination.

Msgr. Ocariz serves as a consultor to several Vatican offices, including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Clergy and the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

The process that led to Msgr. Ocariz’s election began Jan. 21 with a consultation involving more than three dozen women who are members of the Central Advisory.

The advisory submitted a list with the name or names of those priests in the Opus Dei electoral congress who they believed were suited for the role of prelate.

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

Key girls games mark last full week in January

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For The Dialog

 

The last full week of January is filled with some very important games and a couple catholic showdowns as February approaches. Read more »

Boys hoops features some of state’s best in Sanford, Caravel

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For The Dialog

 

The boys’ basketball season is in full swing, and there are some big games this week. Read more »

Trump reinstates policy banning U.S. funds for abortions in other countries

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order Jan. 23 reinstating the “Mexico City Policy,” which bans all foreign nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. funds from performing or promoting abortion as a method of family planning in other countries.

The action was hailed by pro-life leaders.

“President Trump is continuing Ronald Reagan’s legacy by taking immediate action on day one to stop the promotion of abortion through our tax dollars overseas,” said a Jan. 23 statement from Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump holds up his executive order reinstating the "Mexico City Policy" banning federal funding of abortion-providing groups abroad after he signed it Jan. 23 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (CNS /Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

U.S. President Donald J. Trump holds up his executive order reinstating the “Mexico City Policy” banning federal funding of abortion-providing groups abroad after he signed it Jan. 23 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (CNS /Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

“President Trump’s immediate action to promote respect for all human life, including vulnerable unborn children abroad, as well as conscience rights, sends a strong signal about his administration’s pro-life priorities,” she said.

“By redirecting taxpayer dollars away from the international abortion industry, President Trump has reinstituted life-affirming protections for unborn children and their mothers,” said a Jan. 23 statement by Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. “There is political consensus that taxpayer dollars should not fund abortion and the abortion industry.”

“Now we see pro-life fruits of the election unfolding as President Trump has taken immediate action to reinstitute President Reagan’s Mexico City Policy,” said Father Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, in a Jan. 23 statement. “Poll after poll shows that Americans do not want their tax money to pay for abortions. Stopping funding to foreign pro-abortion groups is a powerful first step toward doing the same domestically.”

Named for the city that hosted the U.N. International Conference on Population in 1984, where Reagan, then in his first term as president, unveiled it, the Mexico City Policy has been the textbook definition of a political football. Adopted by a Republican president, it has been rescinded when Democrats sat in the White House, only to be restored when Republicans claimed the presidency.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton’s revocation of the policy was made so quickly following his inauguration that some participants in the March for Life, conducted two days after the inauguration, carried “Impeach Clinton” signs.

Just as Clinton had rescinded the policy two days after taking office, so did President George W. Bush reinstate it two days into his presidency, expanding it to include all voluntary family planning activities. President Barack Obama rescinded the policy Jan. 23, 2009.

Court challenges to the policy resulted in rulings in 1987 and 1988 that limited its application to foreign NGOs.

The executive order “makes clear that Trump intends to carry out with his promised pro-life agenda. Taxpayer funding for abortions, whether here or overseas, is unpopular with voters and is plain wrong,” said a Jan. 23 statement by Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with the Catholic Association.

“It amounts to subsidizing the violent victimization of women and children, in particular poor and minority women who feel they have no choice but to have an abortion,” McGuire said. “Redirecting those funds to health centers that offer women real choice and hope is the right policy moving forward.”

 

Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.

Look it up: Where the early Christians gathered

January 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

When we hear the word “church” we think of the universal community to which we belong or of a physical structure, which can take many different shapes.

But what were the earliest churches actually like? Read more »

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Parishes: Called to welcome ‘as Christ has welcomed you’

January 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

It may be his first parish leadership assignment after 30 years in Catholic education as a teacher and administrator, but Father Tom Elewaut has needed no instructional manual to determine the most important element of a Christ-centered parish community: welcome.

For the six years he has headed Mission San Buenaventura in Ventura, California, Father Elewaut takes time after each Sunday Mass to greet everyone and anyone, parishioner or not, with a handshake, a smile and a hearty hello. Read more »

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A parish of hospitality and more

January 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

Shortly after receiving the assignment to establish a new parish 12 years ago, I gathered groups of new parishioners for backyard meetings. People spoke freely about what they wanted in their parish: youth ministry, programs for young families, outreach to the needy and more.

But the most common request was that the parish be friendly and welcoming to people. Read more »

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Living Our Faith: How to make parishes successful and welcoming

January 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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What do people want in a parish? A friendly and welcoming atmosphere, for starters.

People attend Mass at historic St. Albertus Church in Detroit Aug. 10. The Mass was organized as part of a "Mass mob" movement to fill now-closed historic inner-city Detroit churches for occasional Masses. St. Albertus is no longer an active parish but the church remains open as a center for Polish heritage. (CNS photo/Jonathan Francis, Archdiocese of Detroit) See DETROIT-MASSMOB Aug. 19, 2014.

People attend Mass at a historic church in Detroit in August of 2014. (CNS)

Accessibility for people of all needs, children’s engagement in the liturgy, small-group faith studies, thoughtful homilies and inviting music during Mass help parishioners in their discipleship with the Lord.

Throughout the U.S., many Catholic parishes make “welcome” the guidepost in their efforts to evangelize their communities. As St. Paul told the Romans: “Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God” (15:7).

We may take parish life for granted, but the generation that knew Jesus never saw a church building. What were the earliest churches actually like?

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