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Ss. Peter and Paul students serve others

EASTON, Md. – The prekindergarten through second grades at Ss. Peter and Paul School in Easton, Md., made more than 100 autumn wreaths for Maryland’s recent “Day to Serve.”

The students prayed over the wreaths, which were made from paper plates, construction paper, tissue paper and gemstones. The wreaths were then delivered to residents at the Talbot Hospice House, the Pines Nursing Home, the Gardens Nursing Home and the Caroline Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

 

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Vatican Letter: Did Pope Francis get what he wanted from the synod?

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Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — Since the end of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, news outlets have portrayed the outcome as a setback or loss for Pope Francis, even a “rebuke” to him. Journalists have pointed to the absence, in the synod’s final report, of an earlier version’s strikingly conciliatory language toward people with ways of life contrary to Catholic teaching, including those in same-sex unions and other non-marital relationships. Commentators have also noted the relatively low support, as measured by bishops’ votes on the final document’s relevant sections, for continued discussion of whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Pope Francis greets cardinals at the conclusion of the beatification Mass of Blessed Paul VI in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 19. The Mass also concluded the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Blessed Paul, who served as pope from 1963-1978, is most remembered for his 1968 encyclical, "Humanae Vitae," which affirmed the church's teaching against artificial contraception. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets cardinals at the conclusion of the beatification Mass of Blessed Paul VI in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 19. The Mass also concluded the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Blessed Paul, who served as pope from 1963-1978, is most remembered for his 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” which affirmed the church’s teaching against artificial contraception. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In these respects, it is said, the synod rejected moves consistent with Pope Francis’well-known teachings on mercy. The pope never expressed his views at the synod; he kept silent throughout the two weeks of discussions. Yet there are good reasons to think he and the assembly were not of the same mind on these questions. Pope Francis had invited the author of the Communion proposal, German Cardinal Walter Kasper, and no one else, to address a gathering of the world’s cardinals on the family in February. And the synod’s controversial midterm report was the work of the pope’s handpicked team, who presumably would never have departed from the usual tone of official Vatican documents on moral teaching unless they had understood that to be what the pope wanted. So if they were right, the synod’s reaction must have disappointed him. But at the same time, the pope got just what he asked for: a more assertive synod. “Maybe it is time to change the methods of the synod of bishops, because it seems to me that the current method is not dynamic. This will also have ecumenical value, especially with our Orthodox brethren. From them we can learn more about the meaning of episcopal collegiality and the meaning of synodality,” Pope Francis told an interviewer last year. Opening the synod’s first working session Oct. 6, the pope told participants, “Everyone needs to say what one feels duty-bound in the Lord to say: without respect for human considerations, without fear.” Recalling that some cardinals at the February meeting had reportedly hesitated to speak out for fear of disagreeing with him, Pope Francis said: “This is no good, this is not synodality.” The synod fathers took Pope Francis at his word. In their remarks on the floor of the hall and in their meetings as small working groups, bishops said the midterm report lacked necessary references to Scripture and traditional Catholic teaching, and they demanded extensive changes to the final report. For decades, critics have complained that the synod is not a true expression of the bishops’ collective authority, as rooted in Catholic tradition and reaffirmed by Second Vatican Council. They have characterized it instead as a mere advisory body to the pope. Had the bishops this October simply ratified what they assumed Pope Francis was proposing, it would have been hard to argue anything had changed. It was their very resistance to the pope’s perceived wishes that made their self-assertion convincing. Upon reflection, the pope could hardly have designed a better way to elicit an exercise of collective responsibility from this group, bishops named by St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, during whose pontificates they had come to rely on the pope as the ultimate guarantor of orthodoxy, than to confront them with a document that seemed to take traditional teaching for granted. This is an irony that Pope Francis, who once taught psychology to high school students, was surely well prepared to appreciate, whether or not he anticipated it.

Poverty was among synod’s main concerns, Philippine cardinal says

October 31st, 2014 Posted in International News

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Catholic News Service

MANILA, Philippines — Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila said the Synod of Bishops on the family was more than a series of discussions on divorce and gay unions and that the impact of poverty on families, especially in Asia, was a major concern of participants.

“Poverty is really affecting the Filipino family in a dramatic way,” Cardinal Tagle told reporters at an Oct. 30 news conference.

The prelate explained that while he was in Italy he was part of a forum on families and afterward a number of contract workers from the Philippines approached him in tears. Cardinal Tagle said one worker told him, “If it weren’t for hardship I would never have left my wife and children behind.”

The Philippines is among the world’s top countries that sends workers overseas. More than 9 million Filipinos, about 10 percent of the Philippines population, live overseas and about half of them migrated for work, the government has reported.

Cardinal Tagle said migration was a major concern in synod discussions.

“Couples separate not because they’re mad at each other,” the cardinal said. “They separate because they love their family and they bear the pain of separation just to find jobs elsewhere. So we ask, ‘What kind of pastoral care can we give for the (contract) workers to remain faithful to their families … and what can we do for those left behind?’”

Cardinal Tagle pointed to financial insecurity as a hindrance to marriage and a burden on family life. Young people are delaying marriage because of a lack of jobs in the Philippines and elsewhere and thoughts that they could not support a family, he said, adding that for those who have work, the breadwinner is focused on hanging on to the job and “putting the family second.”

The bishops also credited grandparents and extended family members for their roles in raising children because of the economic stresses placed on nuclear families.

Cardinal Tagle also reported on preparations for Pope Francis’ planned January visit to the Philippines. He said officials from the Vatican planned to visit in November to check on arrangements and that specific details of the trip would be released at the end of November of early December.

Cardinal Tagle also said the Philippine government is “very concerned” about security for Pope Francis during his Jan. 15-19 stay. The cardinal said the pope “deserves” the effort under way by the government and the military for his safety.

In September the Islamic State militant group that has occupied much of Syria and Iraq said it would target the pope, possibly during one of his overseas visits. In 1970, an attempt was made on Blessed Paul VI’s life during a visit to the Philippines. And in 1995, authorities uncovered a plot by al-Qaida members to assassinate St. John Paul II on his visit to the nation.

 

— By Simone Orendain

All Christians called to spiritual ecumenism, pope tells charismatics

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Prayer and mission are the very breath of the Christian life, Pope Francis said.

“When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same spirit,” Pope Francis told members of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships.

Pope Francis talks to members of an orchestra during a special audience with members of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships at the Vatican Oct. 31. The pope met with about 1,000 charismatic Catholics and their Protestant guests who were participating in a conference about the charismatic movement and new evangelization. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

Pope Francis talks to members of an orchestra during a special audience with members of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships at the Vatican Oct. 31. The pope met with about 1,000 charismatic Catholics and their Protestant guests who were participating in a conference about the charismatic movement and new evangelization. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

The pope met Oct. 31 with about 1,000 charismatic Catholics and their Protestant guests who were participating in a conference about the charismatic movement and new evangelization.

Although most of his speech focused on the charismatic practice of prayers of praise, Pope Francis also encouraged prayers of intercession, “a cry to the Father, for our Christian brothers and sisters who are persecuted and murdered, and for the cause of peace in our turbulent world.”

The charismatic movement, which focuses on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, is by its nature an ecumenical movement, the pope said. Christian unity is “the test of the credibility of Christians and of Christ himself,” and Christian divisions make evangelization more difficult.

While theological dialogue is important in bringing about the formal unity of divided Christians, he said, “spiritual ecumenism” – “praying and proclaiming together that Jesus is Lord and coming together to help the poor” — is something to which all Christians are called. “This must be done.”

Despite their differences, the pope said, too many Christians already are united in one kind of ecumenism, the “ecumenism of blood.”

“For our persecutors, we are not divided — we are not Lutherans, Orthodox, Evangelicals, Catholics. For persecutors we are Christians; they are not interested in anything else,” the pope said. “This is the ecumenism of blood being lived today.”

Pope Francis also told the charismatics that as people who value the rich variety of the gifts of the Holy Spirit they should not fear diversity. “Uniformity is not Christian,” he said.

Being united in Christ and in the church “does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way,” he said. “Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of the gifts at the service of all members of the church.”

Accepting the Holy Spirit’s diversity while allowing the Spirit to forge unity “means knowing how to listen, to accept differences and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect toward the other, who is my brother or sister,” he said.

Departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis referred to the day’s Gospel reading from Luke 14:1-6. The Pharisees, he said, were fanatics about uniformity and following the letter of the law. They were so extreme that “the Lord had to ask them, ‘But, then, is it possible to do good on the Sabbath or is it forbidden?’ This is the danger of uniformity.”

In his homily during his morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, the pope had said the Pharisees’ attachment to the law “distanced them from love and justice.”

The path Jesus taught is one where love and justice lead to knowledge and discernment about how best to fulfill God’s law, Pope Francis said, according to Vatican Radio.

The Pharisees, the pope said, were always looking for new followers, but they did not know how to offer people hope and life-giving love. Pharisees are “closed-minded men, men who are so attached to the laws, to the letter of the law that they were always closing the doorway to hope, love and salvation.”

 

Remember, ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ is an enjoyable whodunit

October 31st, 2014 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

The cherished amnesia plot gets dusted off for the thriller “Before I Go to Sleep.” Writer-director Rowan Joffe’s adaptation of S.J. Watson’s novel adeptly executes a few turns. But it offers only one big twist.

Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth star in a scene from the movie "Before I Go To Sleep." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (CNS photo/Laurie Sparham, Clarius Entertainment)

Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth star in a scene from the movie “Before I Go To Sleep.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (CNS photo/Laurie Sparham, Clarius Entertainment)

As the result of a vicious assault 10 years ago, during which she sustained a head injury, Christine’s (Nicole Kidman) memory erases nightly when she goes to sleep. So she begins each day with a ritual, assisted by photos and written reminders of “Who are you, and where am I?”

By bedtime, she’s almost up to speed. In her dreams, she’s tormented by glimpses of the attack. And each morning, the cycle begins anew.

Christine’s situation renders her helpless and easily manipulated by others.

Aiding her is Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong), a psychologist. He has Christine create a daily video diary so she can build a long-term “memory,” carve out some independence and perhaps recall the identity of her assailant.

Eventually, bits of Christine’s past reveal themselves. She’d had an affair. So had her husband with her best friend Claire (Anne-Marie Duff). Yet now her spouse Ben (Colin Firth) seems so kindly and attentive.

If there’s a moral issue raised in this whodunit, which fans of the genre should enjoy, it might be the question of whether the illusion of a secure existence can effectively substitute for real family love.

The film contains occasional physical violence, an adultery theme, fleeting rear nudity as well as a few instances of profanity and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R.

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Correction: Bishop Malooly’s schedule

October 31st, 2014 Posted in Our Diocese Tags:

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Due to a Dialog error, Bishop Malooly’s schedule in the print edition of the Oct. 31 Dialog is incorrect. Below is the corrected schedule.

 

OCT. 31-NOV. 1

• Holy Sepulchre annual gathering, Mass and investiture, Basilica of the Assumption, Baltimore

 

SUNDAY, NOV. 2

• Mass for the 225th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 2 p.m.

 

MONDAY, NOV. 3

• Vocation Awareness Week, All Saints Catholic School, Elsmere, 9:30 a.m., and Christ the Teacher School, Glasgow, 11 a.m.

 

TUESDAY, NOV. 4

• Diocese of Wilmington finance council meeting, 1626 N. Union St., Wilmington, noon

 

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 5

• Vocation Awareness Week, Holy Cross School, Dover, 9:30 a.m., and St. Edmond’s Academy, Wilmington, 11 a.m.

 

THURSDAY, NOV. 6

• Annual priest jubilee Mass, St. Joseph, Middletown, 4 p.m.

 

SATURDAY, NOV. 8

• Confirmation, Our Lady of Fatima, New Castle, 11 a.m.

 

NOV. 9-13

• United States Conference of Catholic Bishops fall meeting, Baltimore

 

SATURDAY, NOV. 15

• Confirmation, St. Mary Magdalen, Wilmington, 11 a.m.

• Confirmation, Holy Rosary, Claymont, 4:30 p.m.

 

SUNDAY, NOV. 16

• St. Martin de Porres Mass, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bear, 11 a.m.

• Confirmation, Resurrection, Wilmington, 5:30 p.m.

 

MONDAY, NOV. 17

• Priest council meeting, 1626 N. Union St., Wilmington, noon

• Memorial Mass for deceased Knights of Columbus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Wilmington, 6:30 p.m.

Father Smith, pastor of St. Luke/St. Andrew in Ocean City, Md., dies at 67

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Father Richard Smith, pastor of St. Luke/St. Andrew Parish in Ocean City, Md., died Oct. 29. He was 67.

Fr. Richard SmithThe youngest of seven children, Father Smith was born on April 28, 1947, in Trenton, N.J. He served in the United States Army from November 1966 until November 1969. Before entering the seminary, he was employed by Mercer County, N.J., and was Assistant Airport Manager for Operations and Chief of the Crash, Fire, Rescue and Police Department for almost 20 years.

In 1976, he married Rita Buffin of Trenton, who died in 1990. In 1994, Father Smith entered St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore where he earned a bachelor’s in theology and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sacred theology. Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli ordained him to the priesthood for the Diocese of Wilmington in May 2000.

Father Smith served as associate pastor of St. John the Beloved Parish in Wilmington; Holy Cross Parish in Dover; and St. Luke/St. Andrew Parish. In 2008, he was appointed administrator of St. Luke/St. Andrew and was named pastor of that parish in October 2009.

Visitation will take place on Monday, Nov. 3 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Luke Church, 9903 Coastal Highway, Ocean City. Bishop Malooly will preside at a concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial on Nov. 4 at noon in St. Luke Church. An additional visitation and Memorial Mass will be held in New Jersey followed by interment at St. Mary Cathedral Cemetery in Hamilton, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Office for Priestly Vocations, Diocese of Wilmington Seminary Fund, P.O. Box 2030, Wilmington, DE 19899-2030, or the Catholic church of your choosing.

‘Nightcrawler’ depicts a creepy, unsettling character

October 30th, 2014 Posted in Movies Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

The free-for-all world of local TV news reporting provides the backdrop for the strikingly creepy character study “Nightcrawler.”

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in a scene from the movie "Nightcrawler." The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (CNS photo/Chuck Zlotnick, Open Road Films)

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in a scene from the movie “Nightcrawler.” The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (CNS photo/Chuck Zlotnick, Open Road Films)

Though it showcases a memorable, if unsettling, performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, writer-director Dan Gilroy’s drama also features a gritty urban atmosphere pervaded by an air of moral nihilism. It thus calls for thoughtful assessment by mature, well-grounded viewers.

Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a borderline-autistic Los Angeles loner scratching out a bare-bones existence through the nonviolent theft of items like scrap metal or an unattended racing bike.

Accidently exposed to the work of the breed of ambulance-chasing cameramen whose disdainful nickname gives the film its title, Bloom takes up the seamy craft — and discovers that he’s quite good at it. Mainly, that’s due to the fact that he displays a total disregard for any semblance of ethical standards. The more gruesome the images he can intrusively videotape at the site of a car wreck or on the scene of a violent crime, the better.

In fact, Bloom’s indifference to the suffering he captures brings him so much success that Nina (Rene Russo), the producer of the show to which he markets his sensationalist wares, becomes dependent on his output to maintain ratings and thereby keep her job. Since Bloom is attracted to the considerably older Nina, the power he wields over her leads to some queasy exchanges in the dialogue.

With his fortunes in the ascent, Bloom hires homeless drifter Rick (Riz Ahmed) to serve as his assistant and sidekick. But his proximity to Bloom eventually reveals to Rick just how dark the hidden depths of his employer’s obvious eccentricity are, an insight that leaves him not only repelled but alarmed.

Gyllenhaal’s Bloom is mesmerizingly off-kilter, utterly tone deaf to the social cues of those around him and delusionally pretentious. Addicted to the kind of bromides that might be overheard at a particularly woeful team-building retreat, he is nonetheless genuinely driven to succeed, and to do so at any cost.

Via Bloom’s disturbing antics, Gilroy adeptly satirizes both yellow journalism and the public hunger for tabloid images that fuels its excesses. But as Bloom’s initial moral sketchiness leads on to more sinister wrongdoing, distance and discernment are required to resist treating his descent as a giddy vicarious ride into amorality.

The film contains considerable, often gory violence, several uses of profanity, brief but coarse references to sexuality and pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

 

 

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Maryland Election Information 2014

October 30th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

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Pope’s morning homily: ‘The devil, the world and the flesh’

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By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Christian life is a constant battle against the devil, who is not the stuff of legend, but really exists, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Battling the devil will not be easy because the evil one’s traps and temptations are many, and “the devil is not tossing flowers at us,” but “flaming arrows” aimed to kill, the pope said Oct. 30 during his morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta where he lives.

There are three “enemies of Christian life,” Pope Francis said: “The devil, the world and the flesh,” in other words, the carnal passions that are “the wounds of original sin.”

“But this generation, and many others, made people think that the devil was a myth, a character, an idea, the concept of evil,” the pope said, according to Vatican Radio.

“The devil exists and we have to fight against him. Paul says so; I’m not the one saying it. The word of God says it,”the pope said, referring to the day’s reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (6:10-20), which calls on believers to “stand firm against the tactics of the devil.”

Even believers “are not too convinced” the devil exists, he said, or else “we are a bit lazy in the fight and we let ourselves be led by our passions, by some temptations. It’s because we are sinners; all of us.”

“However, do not be discouraged. (Have) courage and strength because the Lord is with us” and supplies all that is needed in battle, the pope said.

Because the devil is “the father of lies, the father of deception,” Christians must arm themselves with the “armor of God — the truth.”

St. Paul says Christians must be “girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace,” the pope noted.

People need to “hold faith as a shield” and take up “the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” he added, and they must pray all the time.

“You cannot be Christians without working continuously at being righteous. You can’t,” the pope said.

People need faith to go forward and they need to know “that it is God defending us, to resist the devil’s temptations,” he said.

“Is that clear? You cannot think of a spiritual life, a Christian life,” he said, “without resisting temptation, without fighting against the devil, without putting on this amour of God, who gives us strength and defends us.”

“Christian life is a battle, a very beautiful battle because when the Lord wins at every step of our life, he gives us a joy, a great happiness, that joy that the Lord has won in us” with his free gift of salvation, the pope said.

 

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