Home »

Cunningham pitches Padua past Delmar in regular-season softball finale

By

For The Dialog

 

MILL CREEK – Abby Cunningham fired a two-hitter to lead Padua past Delmar, 3-0, on May 25 as the teams wrapped up the regular season at the Midway Softball Complex. The Pandas finished at 15-3 and grabbed the fifth seed in the state softball tournament.

Both Cunningham and Delmar pitcher Tracy Pleasanton worked out of minor jams in the first inning. Cunningham settled in after that, retiring the Wildcats in order in the second through fifth innings. Read more »

Pope calls for prayers for Syrian victims of terrorist attacks

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pray for victims of recent terrorist attacks in Syria and pray that those who sow death and destruction will change their ways, Pope Francis said in an appeal.

At the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square May 25, the pope mentioned a string of attacks to hit “beloved Syria” May 23, causing the death of “defenseless civilians.”

A volunteer from Lesbos, Greece, presents Pope Francis a life-jacket that belonged to a Syrian girl who drowned. The presentation was at the end of the pope's general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 25. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

A volunteer from Lesbos, Greece, presents Pope Francis a life-jacket that belonged to a Syrian girl who drowned. The presentation was at the end of the pope’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 25. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

At least 150 people were killed in separate, but nearly simultaneous explosions in the cities of Jableh and Tartus. Militants of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks on the civilian targets, which included a hospital.

Before leading the “Hail Mary,” the pope asked that everyone pray for the “eternal repose of the victims, solace for the relatives” and that God would “convert the hearts of those who sow death and destruction.”

Also at the audience, the pope marked International Missing Children’s Day with an appeal to civil and religious leaders to raise people’s awareness and inspire action in protecting vulnerable children.

“It is the duty of everyone to protect children, most of all those exposed to a high risk of exploitation, trafficking and deviant behaviors,” the pope said.

He said he hoped civil and religious leaders could “rattle” people’s consciences and raise awareness so that no one would be indifferent to the problem of children who are “alone, exploited and removed from their families and social context, children who cannot grow up in peace and look to the future with hope.”

He invited everyone to pray that every missing child would be “returned to the affection of their own loved ones.”

According to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than 8 million children around the world go missing every year. These children face increased danger of falling victim to abuse, exploitation and illegal activities, it said.

Prayer is no magic wand; it strengthens faith in tough times, pope says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Prayer is not a magic wand that fulfills your desires, but it is what helps you keep the faith when you don’t understand God’s will, Pope Francis said.

Prayer is meant to be “our daily bread, our powerful weapon and the staff for our journey,” he said May 25 during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

A girl holds a sign expressing love for Pope Francis as he greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A girl holds a sign expressing love for Pope Francis as he greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In his catechesis, the pope talked about the Gospel parable of the persistent widow, who incessantly appealed to a corrupt judge for justice.

Judges at the time were supposed to be filled with the fear of God as they impartially and faithfully upheld the laws of Moses, the pope said. But the judge in this parable was dishonest and only cared about himself. He had no interest in protecting the rights of the weakest and easily exploited members of society, which included widows, orphans and foreigners, he said.

“Faced with the judge’s indifference, the widow resorted to her only weapon — to keep incessantly pestering him, presenting him with her appeal for justice,” the pope said.

The judge finally gives in, he said, “not because he is moved by mercy or because his conscience forces him to,” but because of her perseverance. He realizes he will never rid himself of her until he delivers a just decision, and so he does, the pope said.

He said Jesus uses this parable to show that if a widow with no clout or influence could sway an uncaring judge merely through her patient and persistent pleas, then imagine how powerful that same force of prayer is when directed toward a loving, merciful and benevolent God.

Jesus is showing how important and necessary it is to pray tirelessly, all the time and not just every now and then, “when I feel like it,” the pope said.

“We all experience moments of exhaustion and discouragement, above all when our prayers don’t seem to work,” he said.

Contrary to the stubborn judge, he said, God speedily secures “the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night,” according to the Gospel of St. Luke (18:1-8).

But that doesn’t mean God will respond when “and in the ways that we want. Prayer is not a magic wand,” the pope said.

When Jesus prayed that his father spare him from “the bitter cup of his passion,” he also put himself fully in God’s hands, asking that the father’s will, not his own, be done.

Jesus shows how prayer is about strengthening one’s relationship with the father, transforming one’s own wishes and conforming them to God’s will, he said.

Prayer “helps us keep our faith in God and to trust him even when we do not understand his will.”

“Prayer is what keeps the faith; without it, faith wavers,” Pope Francis said. And it is in prayer that people experience the compassion of God who comes to his children “filled with merciful love.”

 

 

Timely hitting, strong defense carry St. Mark’s past Newark in baseball tourney

By

For The Dialog

 

WILMINGTON – Top-seeded St. Mark’s used timely hitting and strong defense to defeat No. 17 Newark, 5-2, in the second round of the state baseball tournament May 24 at Frawley Stadium. The Spartans advance to meet No. 8 Cape Henlopen on Thursday at Frawley at a time to be announced.

St. Mark’s got on the board against Newark starting pitcher Kyle MacDonnell in the bottom of the second. Sean Gilardi singled. Courtesy runner Billy Sullivan reached second on an error and came home on Tommy Gibb’s double. Gibb scored on an RBI groundout by Chris Ludman. Read more »

Tower Hill overwhelms Archmere in girls lacrosse quarterfinals

By

For The Dialog

 

WILMINGTON – Tower Hill got six goals from Kiva Walsh and five goals and seven assists from Abby Manning in an 18-7 win over Archmere in a quarterfinal-round matchup in the girls’ lacrosse tournament at Tower Hill. The Hillers (13-3), seeded third, will face No. 2 Polytech in the semifinals Thursday at Wesley College in Dover.

Sixth-seeded Archmere started strong, with Delaney Dearing scoring 26 seconds into the contest. That is when Walsh and Manning went to work. Walsh scored off a feed from Manning to tie it at 1 with 21:15 left in the first half. Read more »

U.S. official says protection of religious minorities is top priority

By

 

Catholic News Service

ROME — Efforts to protect men, women and children suffering religious persecution and to promote respect for religious freedom globally is “a top priority for the United States,” said a State Department official.

Knox Thames, special adviser for religious minorities in the Near East and South and Central Asia, told journalists in Rome May 23 that the protection of religious minorities, especially in areas of conflict, has and continues to be a key concern.

Residents walk past a destroyed building in 2014 after airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria. The Melkite Catholic archbishop of Aleppo has asked for support for his war-torn city and thanked the Knights of Columbus and other organizations for speaking out about the genocide of Syrian Christians and other religious minorities. A U.S. State Department official said in Rome, May 23, that promoting religious freedom is "a top priority for the United States. (CNS photo/Ali Mustafa, EPA)

Residents walk past a destroyed building in 2014 after airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria. The Melkite Catholic archbishop of Aleppo has asked for support for his war-torn city and thanked the Knights of Columbus and other organizations for speaking out about the genocide of Syrian Christians and other religious minorities. A U.S. State Department official said in Rome, May 23, that promoting religious freedom is “a top priority for the United States. (CNS photo/Ali Mustafa, EPA)

Thames met earlier in the day with Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, head of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches, and Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, undersecretary for relations with states in the Vatican Secretariat of State, to “discuss the situation of Eastern churches and to find ways to protect their member’s rights.”

“The Vatican’s perspective is uniquely placed,” he said, adding that he met with Cardinal Sandri to “hear his views regarding his flock” and “to find ways to help religious minorities, particularly in Iraq.”

“Protecting religious minorities who have fled their countries,” he said, is the first step in the U.S. government’s approach to confronting religious persecution.

The United States also hopes to equip governments with the tools necessary to protect religious minorities and it applies pressure on countries with restrictive laws and practices so that religious minorities “are able to practice their faith freely and peacefully,” he said.

Education, especially “Catholic teachings on the protection of conscience,” is also important in promoting respect for different viewpoints and “a general commitment to help everyone.”

Thames said another important solution in helping religious minorities, especially in Muslim-majority countries, is the adoption of the Marrakesh Declaration.

The Marrakesh Declaration was the result of a three-day conference hosted by Moroccan King Muhammad VI, which gathered 300 Muslim scholars and 50 non-Muslim religious leaders in January.

The document promotes the concept of a “shared citizenship” and affirms that “it is unconscionable to employ religion for the purpose of aggressing upon the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries.”

“It is an important step forward” in reframing the discussion on the protection of religious minorities from an Islamic perspective and offers a peaceful framework in reforming laws that restrict religious freedom, Thames said.

“What happens in Marrakesh shouldn’t stay in Marrakesh,” he said.

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

Comments Off on U.S. official says protection of religious minorities is top priority

Delaware Catholics asked to contact finance committee and call for school nurse, driver’s ed funding

By

The Delaware Catholic Action Network (DCAN) is asking people in the diocese to contact the members of the state General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee to help ensure that funding for driver’s education and school nurses is in the next state budget. The JFC drafts the budget, which must be passed by June 30.

Delaware.flag2The committee is “grappling with a substantial budget shortfall,” DCAN said. “At times like these, budget-writing legislators turn their attention toward cutting funding to even the most essential programs.”

School nurses, according to DCAN, are the first line of defense in the physical and emotional health of children. Nurses, in many cases, are the only people in a school building who can dispense medications.

Driver’s education is required by Delaware law, which mandates that private school students pursuing their driving privileges be instructed in the state’s curriculum and taught by teachers employed by the public school system. The last time the state reduced funding for driver’s education, families were charged more than $400 to have their students take the course.

DCAN points out that Catholic school families pay school taxes, just as any other family, and should be entitled to a program taught via public instruction.

Gov. Markell, the network said, has already recommended the small transportation stipend to nonpublic school families be eliminated.

Messages can be sent through www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/bGsOMD27_QdxZwJESIJA1A.

Members of the Joint Finance Committee are as follows:

McDowell and George Smith are the chairpersons of the committee.

Comments Off on Delaware Catholics asked to contact finance committee and call for school nurse, driver’s ed funding

Archmere upends defending champs, advances to baseball quarterfinals

By

For The Dialog

 

CLAYMONT – No. 12 Archmere, playing as the visiting team on its home field, knocked defending state baseball champion Appoquinimink out of the playoffs with a 7-1 win on May 23.

The game had been scheduled to be played at Hodgson, but it was moved because of weather. The visiting Auks got a run in the first against Jags starter Ryan Steckline. Andrew Orzel worked a walk, and Joe Singley also walked with two outs. Dan Matranga hit a single to score Orzel. Appo, the fifth seed, tied the game in the bottom of the inning as Steckline doubled in Javon Fields. Read more »

Comments Off on Archmere upends defending champs, advances to baseball quarterfinals

‘Alice (Now the captain of a ship?) Through the Looking Glass’

By

Catholic News Service

The heroine of “Alice Through the Looking Glass” is not Lewis Carroll’s curious 7-year-old girl but rather an intrepid sea captain with an entrepreneurial streak.

Anne Hathaway, Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska star in a scene from the movie "Alice Through the Looking Glass." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS photo/Disney)

Anne Hathaway, Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska star in a scene from the movie “Alice Through the Looking Glass.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. (CNS photo/Disney)

A young woman who refuses to bend to the will of a patriarchal society, Alice overcomes obstacles in both the real world and the fantasy realm of Underland thanks to her courage, empathy and appetite for risk.

More compelling in theory than in practice, the central figure in this follow-up to Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” does not contradict Carroll’s vision so much as supplant it. Viewed through a decidedly contemporary prism, presumably to satisfy a modern insistence on gender equality, she conforms to present-day social, political and cultural norms.

It’s no wonder the resulting picture feels forced and mechanical.

Despite exciting visuals, a talented ensemble, and glittery costume and makeup designs, this 3-D fantasy-adventure is inert, managing to feel audacious and tediously familiar at the same time. As for its suitability, there are enough frightening action sequences and examples of cruelty to render it inappropriate for young or impressionable children.

In the swashbuckling opening scene, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is at the helm of a ship named “Wonder,” racing to elude pirates during a fierce storm. The vessel, we learn, belonged to her late father.

Upon returning to London, however, the year is 1875, Alice learns that her former suitor, Lord Ascot (Leo Bill), owner of the rapacious shipping company for which she’s been plying the seas, will evict her mother from their home unless he can take possession of the “Wonder.”

After receiving this ultimatum at the Ascot residence, Alice passes through a mirror into Underland, where she reunites with a gaggle of friends that includes the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, as well as Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

Her pals are worried about the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), who has grown increasingly despondent over reports that his estranged family was killed by the Jabberwocky. Vowing to help Hatter find out precisely what befell his relations, Alice undertakes a dangerous mission that involves time travel and the pilfering of an essential device, the Chronosphere, from Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen).

In the course of discovering what happened to the Hatters, Alice learns what caused the rift between the White (Anne Hathaway) and Red (Helena Bonham Carter) Queens. Evidently, the latter’s enormous head and volatile temperament resulted from a traumatic brain injury, an event triggered by the surreptitious consumption of tarts.

After completing her task in Underland (and rousing the Hatter from his morbid depression), Alice re-emerges in Victorian London where she is promptly branded a hysteric and put in an insane asylum. Without the aid of magic, she must find a way to protect her father’s legacy and ensure her mother’s welfare. When last seen, Alice is embarking on a career that combines seafaring and commerce.

Tim Burton serves as producer but has handed over directorial duties to James Bobin. And so, while the movie has dark shadings, it’s not overtly macabre. Nor is it satisfyingly warm and fuzzy, owing in large measure to the two lead performances.

Wasikowska is so adept at projecting stoicism, she keeps sympathy at bay. Alice’s limited interaction with the animated creatures — voiced by the late Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen, Stephen Fry and Toby Jones, among others — doesn’t soften that impression; and she’s a formidable presence alongside the seasoned actors playing her live-action adversaries, namely Bonham Carter and Cohen (who gets more screen time than his role warrants).

Wasikowska’s most significant hurdle is appearing opposite Mr. Depp’s distractingly mannered Hatter — a creepily simpering, elaborately painted, infantile figure. Anyone would come across stone-faced and emotively challenged next to this fey and feckless chap.

Adding to viewer fatigue, Depp keeps recycling the same character, with only minor variations, in film after film, not counting his Hatter from this franchise’s original.

Screenwriter Linda Woolverton shapes Carroll’s diffuse second book into a relatively sophisticated and fairly lucid story, yet doesn’t adequately convey Carroll’s fascination with logic and wordplay. As much as her script, and other aspects of the production, may gesture toward the bizarre and exotic, moreover, she cannot forgo inserting formulaic epigrams meant to convey salubrious life lessons. It’s unclear if they’re being offered with any sincerity or conviction.

One has similar suspicions regarding the filmmakers’ outlook.

The film contains frequent, moderately intense fantasy action, several instances of cruel behavior, and a couple of mild oaths. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II, adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG.

 

John P. McCarthy is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.

 

Comments Off on ‘Alice (Now the captain of a ship?) Through the Looking Glass’

Pope meets with grand imam of Sunni Muslim university

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — After five years of tension and top-level silence, Pope Francis and the grand imam of one of the most important Sunni Muslim universities in the world embraced at the Vatican May 23.

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of Egypt's al-Azhar mosque and university, during a private meeting at the Vatican May 23. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque and university, during a private meeting at the Vatican May 23. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

“The meeting is the message,” the pope told Ahmad el-Tayeb, the grand imam of al-Azhar University, as the religious scholar approached him just inside the door of the papal library.

El-Tayeb’s spring visit was the first meeting between a pontiff and a grand imam since the Muslim university in Cairo suspended talks in 2011.

Established in 1998, the formal dialogue between al-Azhar and the Vatican started to fray in 2006, after now-retired Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech in Regensburg, Germany. Al-Azhar officials and millions of Muslims around the world said the speech linked Islam to violence.

Al-Azhar halted the talks altogether in 2011 after the former pope had said Christians in the Middle East were facing persecution. Al-Azhar claimed that Pope Benedict had offended Islam and Muslims once more by focusing only on the suffering of Christians when many Muslims were suffering as well.

In February, Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, delivered a letter to el-Tayeb from Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, council president, inviting him to the Vatican to meet the pope.

Cardinal Tauran and Bishop Ayuso welcomed the imam to the Vatican May 23 and accompanied him to the papal meeting.

Pope Francis sat to the side of his desk facing the grand imam rather than behind his desk as he customarily does when meeting with a visiting head of state.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the pope spoke privately with el-Tayeb for 25 minutes and the conversation included a discussion about “the great significance of this new encounter within the scope of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam.”

“They then dwelled upon the common commitment of the authorities and the faithful of the great religions for world peace, the rejection of violence and terrorism (and) the situation of Christians in the context of conflicts and tensions in the Middle East as well as their protection,” Father Lombardi said in a statement.

At the end of the audience, Pope Francis presented the grand imam with two gifts: a copy of his encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home” and peace medallion depicting an olive tree holding together two pieces of a fractured rock.

After meeting the pope, the grand imam was scheduled to travel to Paris to open the second international conference on “East and West: Dialogue of Civilizations” May 24 sponsored by al-Azhar University and the Catholic Sant’Egidio Community.

 

Comments Off on Pope meets with grand imam of Sunni Muslim university
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.