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Junior Sodality at St. Joseph’s extends beyond the parish

March 5th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized


For The Dialog


WILMINGTON – As a young girl Margaret Levesque’s mother would take her along to Sodality meetings at St. Joseph’s Church on French Street.

“We had to sit there and keep quiet” as the adult women prayed the rosary and conducted Sodality business, Levesque recalled.

Those days watching the adult women show their devotion to Mary and learn more about the Catholic Church sparked a desire in Levesque for a Junior Sodality that would reach the children. That dream has developed into a reality. Read more »

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Pope plans to canonize St. Therese’s parents during family synod


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is expected to canonize Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, during the world Synod of Bishops on the family in October.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, leading a conference Feb. 27 on the role of saints in the life of the church, announced that “thanks be to God, in October two spouses, parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, will be canonized.” Read more »

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New rules for Vatican finances include a new auditor’s office


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — New rules governing the guidance, oversight and control of Vatican financial and administrative activities include the power to levy sanctions and take “civil or criminal action” in cases of “damage to assets,” as well as providing protection for whistleblowers raising red flags about “anomalous activity.”

The provisions were detailed in separate statutes for the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat for the Economy and a “general auditor’s office,” which will be staffed by three lay experts.

The Secretariat for the Economy, currently headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, will act in collaboration with the Secretary of State and is in charge of “supervision and vigilance” over all administrative and financial activities at the Vatican.

The Secretariat for the Economy, currently headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, above, will act in collaboration with the Secretary of State and is in charge of "supervision and vigilance" over all administrative and financial activities at the Vatican. CNS/Paul Haring)

The Secretariat for the Economy, currently headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, above, will act in collaboration with the Secretary of State and is in charge of “supervision and vigilance” over all administrative and financial activities at the Vatican. CNS/Paul Haring)

The Vatican published the new statutes in Italian on its web site March 3; they went into effect March 1. Pope Francis approved the statutes “ad experimentum” (on a trial basis) for an unspecified period of time.

The establishment of the council and secretariat were announced in February 2014. Officials said it took a full year to develop the statutes because they had to be reviewed by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. A key issue reportedly was to ensure adequate checks and balances.

The statutes officially define the nature, role, responsibilities and organizational structure of each of the three bodies; outline channels of command and accountability; designate English and Italian as the new offices’ working languages; and emphasize the need to keep data and documents confidential.

The statutes codify the mission of the three bodies as part of a major overhaul of the Vatican’s accounting and budgeting procedures, and make clear that both the Secretariat for the Economy and the auditors report to the Council for the Economy.

The auditing office, made up of a general auditor and two assistant auditors, will have the power to audit any Vatican office or body “in full autonomy and independence, and following the best practices recognized internationally concerning public administration.”

The auditor’s office will be the body that receives and investigates any signs of corruption, fraud and “anomalous activity” or irregularities concerning financial activities, budgeting, bookkeeping and the offering of outside contracts or services.

“The general auditor guarantees the confidentiality, integrity and security” of documents and information associated with suspected activities and “protects the identity” of those signaling any potential problems unless revealing the whistleblower’s identity becomes necessary in carrying out an investigation or trial.

Red flags raised “in good faith” concerning suspicious activities “do not produce any kind of culpability for violating professional secrets” or other similar confidentiality agreements, the new rules say.

The Council for the Economy, the statutes say, is dedicated to devising best practices, according to international standards, for more ethical, effective and transparent financial management and administration “in light of the Gospel” and church social doctrine.

The council, which is made up of 15 members, will be charged with inspecting the budget forecasts and final budgets of all dicasteries, offices and organizations of the Holy See and Vatican City State. The council will prepare “recommendations for them and submit them to the Holy Father for approval.”

The council will also examine annual “risk assessments” concerning the Vatican’s holdings and finances.

The council will have the authority to request information from every office, including the Financial Intelligence Authority and the Vatican bank, and will examine annual reports from the general auditor.

The council members, appointed to a five-year term by the pope, will include eight cardinals or bishops and seven lay experts, all from different nationalities to “represent the universality of the church.”

The Secretariat for the Economy, currently headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, will act in collaboration with the Secretary of State and is in charge of “supervision and vigilance” over all administrative and financial activities at the Vatican. It is charged with implementing the norms and suggestions made by the Council for the Economy.

The secretariat will “monitor activities of the dicasteries” and other Vatican agencies, making sure they carry out their activities “efficiently” and “prudently” while funding pre-approved programs and projects. Spending must follow approved budget plans and bookkeeping should conform to the new norms.

Cardinal Pell’s office will provide assistance and support to all Vatican offices and organizations so they can implement standardized norms and procedures and better manage their financial and administrative affairs. It will have the authority to conduct onsite checks at any of the Vatican offices.

If the secretariat discovers any “possible damage” to assets or to the Vatican “patrimony,” it can make sure corrective measures are taken or “where opportune, civil or criminal action and administrative sanctions.”

To ensure a better separation of powers, the secretariat will have to maintain two separate sections each headed by a “prelate secretary” with one dealing with the Vatican’s administrative activities and the other with financial oversights and controls. It added that during a “sede vacante,” the interim period before the election of a new pope, the two secretaries, and not the prefect, will govern the secretariat.


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Our Lenten Journey, March 1, 2015

March 1st, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:


Our Lenten Journey | March 1, 2015

Here is the full quote from St. John Neumann:

“Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random, we are not here, that we may go to bed at night, and get up in the morning, toil for our bread, eat and drink, laugh and joke, sin when we have a mind, and reform when we are tired of sinning, rear a family and die.

God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, . . . for a purpose. He needs, He deigns to need, every one of us. He has an end for each of us; we are all equal in His sight, and we are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do His work, we must rejoice in ours also.”

— St. John Neumann, from the sermon: “God’s Will the End of Life”


Take time today to think about God’s purpose for our lives. “He creates every soul, . . . for a purpose.” Do we know what it is or are we still seeking it?







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Our Lenten Journey, February 28, 2015

February 28th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:


Our Lenten Journey | February 28, 2015

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” ― St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena was a Religious leader, philosopher, theologian,and community activist andshe left a legacy through her writing that still inspires today.  (If you don’t know much about her, take time to research her full, fascinating life.)

Today’s readings speak to us about obedience to God’s commands.  What better example of the success we can all have to “set the world on fire” than that of the obedience of St. Catherine to God’s calling?







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Our Lenten Journey, February 27, 2015

February 27th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:


Our Lenten Journey | February 27, 2015

“There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.”

― St. Augustine of Hippo


St. Augustine reminds us that we are all sinners, but also all capable of redemption.

Today’s first reading speaks of the redemption of sinners:

“If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,

if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,

he shall surely live, he shall not die.”








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Relic of True Cross at All Saints Cemetery on March 6

February 26th, 2015 Posted in Our Diocese, Uncategorized


WILMINGTON – All Saints Cemetery will hold afternoon Stations of the Cross on two Fridays during Lent, Catholic Cemeteries has announced. The dates are March 6 and 20, with a start time of 2 p.m.

Msgr. Joseph Rebman, pastor of St. Joseph on the Brandywine Parish, will lead the March 6 service, while Father James Smith, an associate pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hockessin, will preside on March 20. The Stations will be in the Chapel of the Risen Christ.

On March 6, there also will be veneration of a true relic of Jesus’ cross, and on the 20th, the service will include a meditation of St. Alphonsus Liguori. The diocesan Pilgrimage Cross will be at All Saints until March 12. The cross, a replica of the original World Youth Day cross, has been to nearly every church and school in the diocese.

Light refreshments will be served after each service.

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Homeless man given funeral, burial in Vatican City


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A homeless man who faithfully attended Mass at a church inside Vatican City for decades was buried in a Vatican cemetery after it was discovered he had died and was left unidentified in a hospital morgue. Read more »

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Pope and Curia are on a Lenten retreat outside of Rome


Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Lenten journey of conversion requires Christians to rediscover the “deepest truth” about themselves, cast off their masks and take on the courage to live truth, a prominent Carmelite priest told the pope and Vatican officials. Read more »

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Commentary: A message in blood: ISIS and the meaning of the Cross


Recently, the attention of the world was riveted to a deserted beach in northern Libya, where a group of 21 Coptic Christians were brutally beheaded by masked operatives of the ISIS movement. In the wake of the executions, ISIS released a gruesome video titled “A Message in Blood to the Nation of the Cross.”

I suppose that for the ISIS murderers the reference to “the Nation of the Cross” had little sense beyond a generic designation for Christianity. Sadly for most Christians, too, the cross has become little more than an anodyne, a harmless symbol, a pious decoration. I would like to take the awful event on that Libyan beach, as well as the ISIS message concerning it, as an occasion to reflect on the still startling distinctiveness of the cross. Read more »

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