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Vatican Letter: Cardinals openly debate Communion for divorced, remarried before Vatican meeting on family

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its most prominent members are already publicly debating what is bound to be one of its most controversial topics: the eligibility of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

German Cardinal Walter Kasper. (CNS)

German Cardinal Walter Kasper. (CNS)

In an interview published Sept. 18, a proponent of changing church practice to allow such Catholics to receive Communion answered criticism from some of his fellow cardinals, suggesting they are seeking a “doctrinal war” whose ultimate target is Pope Francis.

“They claim to know on their own what truth is, but Catholic doctrine is not a closed system, but a living tradition that develops,” German Cardinal Walter Kasper told the Italian daily Il Mattino. “They want to crystallize the truth in certain formulas … the formulas of tradition.”

“None of my brother cardinals has ever spoken with me,” the cardinal said. “I, on the other hand, have spoken twice with the Holy Father. I arranged everything with him. He was in agreement. What can a cardinal do but stand with the pope? I am not the target, the target is another.”

Asked if the target was Pope Francis, the cardinal replied: “Probably yes.”

Cardinal Kasper, who will participate in the upcoming synod by personal appointment of the pope, was responding to a new book featuring contributions by five cardinals, including three of his fellow synod fathers, who criticize his proposal to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

According to church teaching, Catholics who remarry civilly without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage may not receive Communion unless they abstain from sexual relations, living with their new partners “as brother and sister.”

Pope Francis has said the predicament of such Catholics exemplifies a general need for mercy in the church today, and has indicated that their predicament will be a major topic of discussion at the synod. In February, at the pope’s invitation, Cardinal Kasper addressed the world’s cardinals at the Vatican and argued for allowing some Catholics in that situation to receive Communion.

The Oct. 5-19 synod is not supposed to reach any definitive conclusions but instead set the agenda for a larger synod on the family in October 2015, which will make recommendations to the pope, who will make any final decisions on change.

“Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” which Ignatius Press will publish Oct. 1, includes essays in response to Cardinal Kasper’s proposal by three synod fathers: Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature; and Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna, Italy.

German Cardinal Gerhard Muller, doctrinal congregation prefect. (CNS/Reuters)

German Cardinal Gerhard Muller, doctrinal congregation prefect. (CNS/Reuters)

On the same day, Ignatius Press will also publish two other books in which synod fathers respond to Cardinal Kasper’s proposal: “The Hope of the Family,” an extended interview with Cardinal Muller; and “The Gospel of the Family,” which features a foreword by Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. (Cardinal Kasper’s address, published by Paulist Press, is also titled “The Gospel of the Family.”)

Cardinal Pell calls for a clear restatement of the traditional ban on Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, to avoid the sort of widespread protests that greeted Pope Paul VI’s affirmation of Catholic teaching against contraception in 1968.

“The sooner the wounded, the lukewarm, and the outsiders realize that substantial doctrinal and pastoral changes are impossible, the more the hostile disappointment (which must follow the reassertion of doctrine) will be anticipated and dissipated,” writes Cardinal Pell, who sits on the nine-member Council of Cardinals advising Pope Francis on Vatican reform and governance of the universal church.

Cardinal Muller’s essay, previously published in the Vatican newspaper, reaffirms the traditional ban. However, the cardinal notes that many Catholics’ first marriages might be invalid, and thus eligible for annulment, if the parties have been influenced by prevailing contemporary conceptions of marriage as a temporary arrangement.

In the book-length interview, Cardinal Muller, whom Pope Francis made a cardinal in February, makes an apparent reference to Cardinal Kasper’s argument, which underscores the importance of mercy.

“I observe with a certain amazement the use by some theologians, once again, of the same reasoning about mercy as an excuse for promoting the admission of divorced and civilly remarried persons to the sacraments,” Cardinal Muller is quoted as saying. “The scriptural evidence shows us that, besides mercy, holiness and justice are also part of the mystery of God.”

Cardinal Burke, head of the Vatican’s highest court, warns that any reform of the process for annulling marriages, something both Pope Francis and Cardinal Kasper have said is necessary, should not oversimplify the judicial process at the cost of justice, since Catholics seeking an annulment deserve a decision that “respects fully the truth and, therefore, charity.”

Cardinal Caffara, whom Pope Francis personally named to participate in the synod, argues that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics may not receive Communion because their situation “is in objective contradiction with that bond of love that unites Christ and the church, which is signified and actualized by the Eucharist.”

To lift the ban, Cardinal Caffarra argues, would be to legitimize extramarital sexual relations and effectively deny the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage.

 

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Support Catholic education through Share in the Spirit

September 19th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , ,

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Dear Friends,

 

Catholic education is one of the greatest instruments we have available to evangelize and to pass on the treasures of our faith. Through our Catholic schools we reach not only the children who seek excellence in education, faith and morals, but also their parents, family and friends who see firsthand those values each day.

The importance of having our children begin their day with prayer, freely talk about faith in God and incorporate essential moral values into their daily lives cannot be underestimated. The Catholic school experience not only prepares our children for challenges they will face as adults, it also prepares them to become intellectual and honorable leaders of our next generation.

It is, however, unfortunate that we are unable to provide a Catholic education to every child who desires one. The cost of education is increasing and the resources of many of our families have been stretched to the limit.

On Sept. 27 and 28, the diocese will conduct its annual Share in the Spirit collection. Monies drawn from the diocesan Vision for the Future Education Trust and raised through the Share in the Spirit collection enable the diocese to make Catholic education affordable to many families who desire it, regardless of their economic circumstances. This year $605,500 in tuition assistance will be allocated to 317 students. While this support is significant, there were nearly 500 other students whose families qualified for aid but who will go unassisted because of limited resources.

By supporting the Share in the Spirit collection you will not only help to pass on the gift of a Catholic education to the children who seek it, but you will also be making a valuable investment in the future of our Church.

May God bless you for all that you do in his name.

 

Sincerely yours in Our Lord,

 

 

Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly

Bishop of Wilmington

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Sister of Charity could become New Jersey’s first saint

September 18th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

NEWARK, N.J. — Although Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich was personally unassuming, the spiritual impact she had on other Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth was so unmistakable that they began the effort to have her canonized soon after her May 8, 1927, death in Paterson.

Her cause will advance Oct. 4, when she will be declared Blessed Miriam Teresa at a beatification Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. She will be the first American to be beatified in the United States. Read more »

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Bishop to lead prayer service Saturday morning at Cathedral Cemetery in memory of aborted children

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The Dialog

Bishop Malooly will preside at a prayer service Saturday, Sept. 13, in Cathedral Cemetery at the gravesite of 63 aborted children.

The public is invited to the 9 a.m. ceremony, which is part of the second annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, co-sponsored by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Priests for Life and the Pro-Life Action League.

“Cathedral Cemetery is honored to be one of the over 100 locations that will host a solemn vigil to mark the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children,” said Mark Christian, executive director of Catholic Cemeteries for the Diocese of Wilmington. “On this day we pause to remember the loss of over 55 million children to legal abortion since 1973 and mourn that they were never allowed to make their mark on our world.”

The memorial stone at Cathedral Cemetery, 2400 Lancaster Avenue in Wilmington, marks the grave of 63 aborted babies whose remains were abandoned in a Chicago abortion facility and brought to Wilmington in 1988 by Delaware Right to Life, according to Bob Krebs, the communications director for the Diocese of Wilmington.

 

 

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Commentary: Recalling the message delivered on 9/11

September 11th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

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Message delivered

In a message from a burning building, in a call from a doomed airplane, the words were repeated again and again.

The second tower of the World Trade Center bursts into flames after being hit by a hijacked airplane in New York in this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo.  (CNS photo/Sara K. Schwittek, Reuters)

The second tower of the World Trade Center bursts into flames after being hit by a hijacked airplane in New York in this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo. (CNS photo/Sara K. Schwittek, Reuters)

It was a message from the point of death. It was a call from people engaged in workday lives who minutes before had no clue the ordinary morning hour would be their last.

The last words from the victims in the burning World Trade Center and the hijacked airplanes on Sept. 11 came from people whose lives had dwindled from abundant possibility to the imminent certainty of death.

The terrorism had focused their minds on essential things. They wanted to do one last thing with their life. They wanted to deliver a message.

“I love you,” they said.

They called their spouses. They called their parents. They called their children. They called their friends.

“I love you,” they said.

They didn’t ask, “Do you love me?”

They didn’t say, “Take care of the business.”

They didn’t scream, “Take revenge.”

Facing death, they reached out to give the gift of themselves.

They used their last moments to establish the most basic human contact.

“I love you.”

They were helpless. They were dying. They had a call to make. They got to the heart of the matter eloquently.

“I love you.”

In the face of their powerlessness, it wasn’t a cry for help. In the face of their death, it wasn’t a call for mercy.

“I love you” was their summation.

It’s difficult to imagine receiving such a tragic call. It’s harder to imagine discovering one on an answering machine. But the calls went out and the stunned recipients repeated the message they received to the media so the whole world could hear it.

“I love you.”

Consider the context: Fanatical terrorists plot a mass murder tha’s diabolical in the extreme. Hate is the incentive and death the goal that unleashes explosions strong enough to break the Pentagon, demolish a plane and collapse 220 stories of office towers into a mangled heap.

But what word emerges from the victims? What emotion survives the fireball?

Love.

It’s an old message. Two thousand years ago, for instance, the Son of God left his own message for us in that symbol of his love, the cross.

“Love one another as I have loved you.”

To the point of death, to the point of his abject powerlessness on the cross, the Son of God was teaching us that we are all helpless in the finality of death, but from the saving grace of his death and resurrection we are called to love God and love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

We are called to establish community with each other as God established community with us. We are called to love one another.

That love can be a powerful solution to the challenges of our world. We love our neighbors, therefore we work for their well-being. We work for justice. We work for peace.

Love produces humility, not arrogance. Love teaches us to serve, not to dominate.

Love is the lesson.

Dialog Editor Joseph Ryan wrote the above commentary in September 2001, for The Catholic Standard and Times, the former newspaper of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where he was acting editor at the time.

 

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Column: How did global warming cause a cool summer?

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“Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change … loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions?”

These aren’t the radical words from the leader of a secular environmental organization, no; these are the radical words from the former leader of the Catholic Church.

In his 2010 World Day of Peace message titled, “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote that “it would be irresponsible not to take seriously” the signs of a growing environmental crisis.

The greatest threat to the natural world is climate change, caused principally by human induced global warming. Burning fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal for energy – produces huge amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere.

The earth indeed is getting hotter. It’s not a hoax.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), last decade was the hottest on record.

And according to NASA, “97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming trends over the past century are “very likely due to human activities.”

In a study titled “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis” the highly authoritative United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed global warming since the mid-20th century.

According to new findings by the World Meteorological Organization, concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide – the major cause of global warming – increased at their fastest rate in 2013 than in any year since 1984.

And in a study by the non-governmental organization Germanwatch, the U.S. is the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide.

To underscore the critical importance for world leaders to robustly respond to the climate changing dangers already beginning to affect the earth and humanity, the U.N. on Sept. 23 will host “Climate Summit 2014.”

With all of the solid scientific evidence validating climate change and global warming, I was wondering why this summer has felt cooler than normal where I live in Maryland.

Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, senior climate scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists, explained to me that the continued relatively faster warming of the Arctic region is causing shifts in the jet stream pattern which, in turn, is leading to more unusual weather in the Northern Hemisphere.

She said that during the first half of this year the same jet stream that has been bringing mostly cooler weather to the eastern U.S. has caused hot drought conditions along the west coast.

As the Arctic and Greenland ice caps continue to melt, ocean levels will dangerously rise – putting large areas of world-wide coastal land under water.

While too much water will plague many, countless others will suffer from not having enough.

According to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Hundreds of millions of people face water shortages that will worsen as temperatures rise.”

We need to quickly move toward, and heavily invest in, clean, safe and renewable alternative sources of energy – like wind, solar and geo-thermal.

Pope Benedict writes, “In a word, concern for the environment calls for a broad global vision of the world; a responsible common effort to move beyond approaches based on selfish interests towards a vision constantly open to the needs of all peoples.”

Our wise retired Holy Father is absolutely right.

Tony Magliano is a syndicated social justice and peace columnist, who lives in the Diocese of Wilmington.

 

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Vatican official says ISIS conflict is not about religion, points to economic interests

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The conflict in which Islamic State fighters are driving out Christians and other minorities must not be seen as a war between Islam and Christianity, said the head of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches.

“I do not share this position and I ask, on the contrary, that it never prevail,” Cardinal Leonardo Sandri told participants in the inaugural In Defense of Christians summit Sept. 9.

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, leads a prayer during an ecumenical service at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington Sept. 9. Christian patriarchs from the Middle East, along with lawmakers and international human rights activists, are attending In Defense of Christians’ three-day summit about the persecution of Middle Eastern minorities. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, leads a prayer during an ecumenical service at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington Sept. 9. Christian patriarchs from the Middle East, along with lawmakers and international human rights activists, are attending In Defense of Christians’ three-day summit about the persecution of Middle Eastern minorities. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

He said the Islamists are not looking to destroy a foreign Christian culture, but are intent on destroying centuries of “a respectful and useful cultural coexistence.”

He also said it was “impossible … to quell the doubts about how the vast economic interests at stake affect the conflict.”

The cardinal reminded approximately 500 people at the Omni Shoreham Hotel about Pope Francis’ statement Sept. 8, 2013, the day after his prayer vigil for peace in Syria. Pope Francis said: “And the doubt always remains: Is this war or that war, because wars are everywhere, really a war to solve problems, or is it a commercial war for selling weapons in illegal trade? These are the enemies to fight, united and consistent, following no other interests than those of peace and of the common good.”

Cardinal Sandri said that people also must consider “the control of oil wells and of gas deposits, the safety of the petroleum and gas pipelines, the supremacy of one area of free commercial trade over another, and this is not only in the Middle East but also in Eastern Europe and in other regions of the world.”

He said this leads to a situation in which someone’s personal economic interests are more important that human life, which “can even be annihilated, or at least not taken into account.”

Cardinal Sandri said the situation in which Christians and other minorities were being forced from their homes and executed had to be resolved through the United Nations, and it might or might not involve the use of force.

“The unjust assailant must be halted, but let us not limit our thinking to the use of force, in some cases necessary, alone, and in any case only within the framework of an international agreement under the aegis of the United Nations, involving the Arab and Muslim countries,” he said.

The cardinal thanked Muslim leaders, such as the grand muftis of Saudi Arabia and of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, as well as of several imams of England and Italy,who had spoken against Islamic State atrocities in recent weeks.

“Let us thank them in the hope that their example may be followed by many so that no silence may be equivocal, and let us thank together all those in Iraq, in Jordan, in Lebanon, in Bahrain … who have worked hard or have offered help and shown willingness to welcome the Christians expelled from the plain of Ninevah,” he said.

He said he had heard of private residents of Jordan who had gone to the Caritas offices with basic goods or offered to pay rent for refugee families. He said Muslim students had volunteered with Caritas in Jordan.

Earlier in the day, speaking to the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Sandri thanked them for their consistent calls for Americans to remember their “elder brethren in the faith.” He also thanked them for their special prayers for peace in Iraq; letters to politicians, including President Barack Obama, meant to raise awareness; and special collections for those affected by Middle Eastern violence.

 

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NFL ref is a rookie on the field but not in his faith

September 11th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

INDIANAPOLIS — The emotion poured out of Bryan Neale when he learned that the dream he had pursued for 25 years had finally come true.

The National Football League informed Neale earlier this year that he had been chosen as one of the 13 new referees hired for the 2014 season.

Bryan Neale, center, talks with a fellow NFL official during a pre-season game in early August between the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys. Neale, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis, has always relied on his faith on and off the field. (CNS photo/courtesy Bryan Neale)

Bryan Neale, center, talks with a fellow NFL official during a pre-season game in early August between the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys. Neale, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis, has always relied on his faith on and off the field. (CNS photo/courtesy Bryan Neale)

“The phone rang at 11:48 a.m. on March 21, if that tells you anything,” said Neale, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t start bawling like a baby. It was a really big deal. It’s one of those deals where you go, ‘Oh my God, I’m in the NFL!’”

Yet, even Neale’s joy for his selection does not match the emotion he feels when he tells the story of how his Catholic faith became the focal point of his life.

“I grew up in a conflicted household,” he told The Criterion, newspaper of the Indianapolis archdiocese. “Both of my parents are from Catholic families in Evansville. My dad was a hippie, and he would rebel against the Catholic Church because, in his mind, it was old school and brainwashing. So growing up, I had my dad’s influence which was to be a free spirit. And I had my extended family which went to Mass every Sunday.”

He was baptized but never had his first Communion or confirmation, he said. During Mass, his aunts, uncles and cousins would go to Communion, while “me and my Methodist aunt would be sitting in the pew together,” he recalled. “I always felt left out. Not to be a sob story, but I felt I always wanted to be a part of it.”

Neale reached a turning point as a young adult.

“As I moved into my twenties, I hit what a lot of people do, the searching phase. I was faithful, but I really didn’t have a place to worship. The Catholic Church was always my home. I always felt fully at peace and comfortable there,” he said.

But after “talking to a friend about being lost and meandering around,” the friend told Neale he was taking Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults classes at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish. He put Neale in touch with the director.

“I went through RCIA in 1997,” said Neale, now 44 and the father of four. “Even to this day, the consecration and Communion never get old to me. It’s the most special thing going because it’s the thing I always missed out on when I was a kid. To me, it’s the most touching, important thing that we do in the Catholic faith.”

Neale’s “all-in” approach to his faith reflects the same commitment he had to pursue his dream of becoming an NFL official.

He played football through high school, but when he enrolled at Indiana University in Bloomington he knew he was not “fast enough or good enough” to play the sport in college. So he set his sights on becoming an official. He got his license in 1988.

“My first game was a (junior varsity) game at Bloomington South (High School). I ran around the field, I had no idea of what I was doing, I never blew my whistle, I didn’t throw any flags, and I thought it was awesome. It was the greatest thing ever.”

A year later, he wrote down a list of goals, including becoming an NFL official someday. As he progressed through the college ranks, including eight years in the Big Ten Conference, his focus never wavered.

Then came the moment when he was sure he had blown any chance of living his dream, during the national college championship game in January 2011, Oregon vs. Auburn.

“Oregon was driving to win the game at the end of the fourth quarter. … I ran into a defensive back who was guarding a receiver on a fourth-down play. I hit this Auburn kid, and it left the Oregon kid wide open. He caught a pass for 16 yards, and they went down and scored a touchdown.”

Neale’s voice softened.

“For a moment, I thought my career was over. But you still have the rest of the game. There were a couple minutes left. Auburn ended up coming back and kicking a field goal to win,” he said.

Faith helps in those moments, too.

“I pray a lot more on the football field than I do in church,” Neale said, adding, “I pray all the time. It may not be in the traditional on-the-knees, eyes-closed, hands-folded manner, but I’m constantly talking. More than anything, I affirm that God is going to take care of me.”

Neale’s faith guides him in family life as well. He’s been married to his wife, Jennifer, for 14 years. Their four children range in age from 7 to 12.

It’s important to him to give his children “a more structured faith environment,” than he had, “so it’s very central to what we do,” he said.

“It makes me feel good to start them off that way, to expose them to faith, to let them experience the things that I didn’t experience that I wish I would have as a kid,” Neale said. “And still to give them, hopefully, the freedom when they’re adults to make their own reasonable choices about their faith.

“I still want them to have part of what my dad taught me, to be open-minded and be called to what you’re called to. I hope to God, they all stay close.”

 — By John Shaughnessy

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Raiders begin 2014 volleyball campaign with sweep of Vikings

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Ursuline's Miranda Schiccatano returns the ball as St. Elizabeth's Erin Evans (6) and Karli Cathell try to block during the Raiders’ 25-14, 25-12, 25-19 win Monday night at the St. E Center. The Dialog/DonBlakePhotography.com

Ursuline’s Miranda Schiccatano returns the ball as St. Elizabeth’s Erin Evans (6) and Karli Cathell try to block during the Raiders’ 25-14, 25-12, 25-19 win Monday night at the St. E Center. (The Dialog/DonBlakePhotography.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ursuline's Kailyn Kampert, who finished with 12 kills, returns the ball as St. Elizabeth's Kylie DeGhetto trirs to block.

Ursuline’s Kailyn Kampert, who finished with 12 kills, returns the ball as St. Elizabeth’s Kylie DeGhetto trirs to block.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pope cites lessons from Mary: Be joyful, help others, never give up

September 8th, 2014 Posted in International News, Uncategorized, Vatican News

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — When a mother has a birthday, children send their greetings and love, so make sure to do the same thing on the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Pope Francis said.

The liturgical feast day Sept. 8 “would be her birthday. And what do you do when your mom has a birthday? You send her greetings and best wishes,” the pope said, after praying the Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square Sept. 7.

Pope Francis waves as he leads his Angelus from the window of his office in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 7.  (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

Pope Francis waves as he leads his Angelus from the window of his office in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sept. 7. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

The pope asked people to say “a Hail Mary from the heart” and to not forget to tell her “Happy Birthday.”

Mary has three very important lessons for today’s Christians, the pope said in a written message to Cuban bishops marking Sept. 8 as the feast of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, patroness of Cuba.

He said Mary teaches people to experience the joy of Christ and share it with others; to never let adversity beat you down; and always help those in need with love and mercy, he said.

The pope said people should imitate how Mary responded to God’s call with her same joy, haste and perseverance, the pope said.

“Every time I read sacred Scripture, in the verses that talk about Our Lady, three verbs catch my attention,” the pope said.

The three kinds of action — be joyful, help without hesitation and persevere, should be “put into practice” by all Catholics, he added.

Whoever discovers Jesus will be “filled with an inner joy so great that nothing and no one can take it away,” he said.

With Christ in their lives, people find the strength and hope “not to be sad and discouraged, thinking problems have no solution.”

For the second action, people should always rise “in haste,” just like Mary, to help others in need, he said.

“Victory is to those who repeatedly rise up, without getting discouraged. If we imitate Mary, we cannot sit with our arms crossed, just complaining or perhaps avoiding any effort so that others do what is our responsibility,” he said.

Making a difference and helping others does not have to be done on a grand scale, he said, but entails doing everyday things “with tenderness and mercy.”

“The third verb is to persevere,” the pope said.

Mary relied on God and his goodness for the strength and courage needed to stay by Christ’s side no matter what and to encourage his disciples to do the same.

“In this world in which long-lasting values are rejected and everything is changing, in which the disposable triumphs, in which it seems people are afraid of life’s commitments, the Virgin encourages us to be men and women who are constant in their good works, who keep their word, who are always faithful,” the pope said.

Cuban bishops visited the Vatican in late August for the installation of their gift, a replica of the statue of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, which was placed in the Vatican Gardens.

 

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